Former Dundee United defender Gary Bollan believes they should be looking to consolidate their top-flight status next season rather than aiming for the top six.
Since being crowned Championship champions, the focus for United has been towards the new campaign resuming after the coronavirus pandemic.
Boss Robbie Neilson and, prior to his leaving the club, ex-managing director Mal Brannigan stated their aim for next term in the Premiership is a top-half finish.
Former chief Brannigan set his sights even further with a long-term goal of European football and major trophies as the club look to re-establish themselves at Scotland’s top table.
However, Bollan, who made 72 appearances for the Tangerines over two spells, believes they should be looking to build a little more slowly.
“They gained promotion which was, obviously, their aim at the start of the season,” the Cowdenbeath manager told The Courier.
“Next term, possibly next calendar year, it’s going to be a totally different task for them.
“Their main aim will be making the top six but, for me, they need to make sure they go in there, stay in and build on that.
“Top six is maybe overly ambitious at this minute, I think.
“There is absolutely no doubt Dundee United are a Premiership club but it’s going to be a different challenge for them.
“With what they’ve got, if they add a bit of experience and quality to it then they might end up in the top half.
“But, I think, at this stage they just have to be happy they’re in there after four years in the Championship.
“They’re back in the league where they belong.”
However, the 47-year-old former defender does believe United have a chance of picking up silverware.
He added: “In this day and age, if you’re looking at winning leagues, you’ve got a mammoth task to outdo a Celtic or Rangers.
“However, as we’ve seen in the past, it’s not unforeseen to go and get a cup win here or there which would bring success back to the club.”