Pat Fenlon believes a lack of cutting edge in attack could hamper Shelbourne this season.
Ian Morris' side resumed their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division campaign on Saturday against Waterford but slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Tolka Park.
Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1's Sunday Sport, former Shels boss Fenlon suggested that expectations about the club's prospects should be tempered in this first season back in the top flight.
"I think Shelbourne is an interesting one. They've come back up and they've been in the doldrums for a long time and I think there's probably a bit of expectancy there that's a little bit unreal for me," he said.
"I think Shels need to make sure that they stay in the division for a period of time and gradually build the club, a bit like they've been doing. [Ian Morris] has done a good job so far.
"They were a little bit disappointing on Saturday and looked a little bit flat and leggy. I did see them a few weeks ago when we played them in a friendly with Linfield and the one thing they may have a problem with this year is scoring goals.
"They just need to make sure they stay in that division. But it was a great performance from Waterford."
One statistic that has jumped out to Fenlon so far has been the lack of home wins over the first two days of the season in the Premier and First Divisions, with Shamrock Rovers the only team to pull off a victory on home soil before Sunday.
"I took in the game on Friday night in Oriel Park and thought it was a decent enough encounter," he said.
"I suppose the one unusual fact, I think we played eight games over the weekend and only one home win so it's a very unusual stat.
"But I don't know if it's anything to do with teams coming back and not being at the right pace but I think it's been okay."
He added: "Maybe it's a lack of fans, it's hard to say. I think as a player, it wouldn't have bothered me because once you got on the pitch, the fans didn't come into it. But I suppose, it's different for everybody."
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