Queens Park Rangers are currently 13 points away from the play-off places.
The R’s are currently stuck down in 13th place in the Championship table, and their chances of making a promotion push seem very slim.
Hasselbaink has refused to rule out a push for the play offs, but he insists that his aim this season is start laying the foundations to make the London side successful over the coming years.
“You always want to get as high as possible,” Hasselbaink said.
“But QPR have been relegated from the Premier League and everybody thinks it’s easy just to come back, and it isn’t.
“A lot of things have happened at the club and a lot of changes have happened.
“At the moment we are going in a different direction – a direction where we need to build and need to sustain the club in the right way.
“Of course we’d like to finish in the top six and get promoted, but you have to be realistic.”
QPR were tipped to be one of the favourites for promotion before the campaign started, but they have failed to live up expectations.
The R’s are currently 13 points back from the top six, and only a dramatic transformation in their form would see them catch the play off pack.
QPR have won just two of their first 14 matches under Hasselbaink’s stewardship, leaving them stuck in mid table.
Rangers’ last performance against Sheffield Wednesday did offer some signs of encouragement, however, as they were able to collect a point from Hillsborough after playing out a 1-1 draw.
Hasselbaink’s side’s next match comes against Birmingham City at Loftus Road on Saturday.