Johnson's men finished third last year with only two wins but with three home games this time around Steele, who was appointed to his role in September, wants momentum to be built with the World Cup on the horizon.
Home and away wins over Australia in 2010 have given the England squad a huge boost and Steele said: "Third or below would be disappointing given our current position.
"We know Martin and the team will be striving to win every game but it is important to outline what we think is realistic.
"Given we have three matches at home and have some momentum from the autumn we believe finishing in the top two is a realistic expectation.
"Alongside that, we are also looking to see the development of our young players continue and our playing style evolve further as we build to the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand later this year, where we are fully expecting to be in the mix after the group stages.
"We will ensure that Martin and his coaches get everything they need to ensure they are given the best possible chance to deliver against our ambitions."