Nick Barmby admits Hull City need to raise their game if they are to avoid a long, hard slog this season.
The Tigers have made a disappointing start to the 2009/10 campaign, with four defeats suffered in their opening six fixtures in the Premier League.
They were also sent crashing out of the Carling Cup on Wednesday night after being soundly beaten 4-0 by top flight rivals Everton at the KC Stadium.
Pressure is beginning to mount on boss Phil Brown, with recent performances doing little to encourage optimism among supporters, and experienced midfielder Barmby has called on his team-mates to help bail their coach out of trouble.
"We need to get back to the basics of this club," said the former England international.
"The traditions of the club were of a good, hard-work ethic during games. It is down to us as players, it is roll your sleeves up time.
"That has got nothing to do with the manager, we need to start doing it as players."
Barmby, who returned to the Tigers' staring XI in midweek, accepts results of late have been disappointing but he feels an encouraging run of upcoming fixtures - which includes games against Wigan, Fulham, Portsmouth and Burnley - could see Hull steer clear of trouble before too long.
"It is very disappointing, it hurts every time you lose. But you can't dwell on it," the 35-year-old said on the Toffees setback.
"The games come thick and fast. We have got another game on Saturday and that is stand up and be counted time.
"We have been to Anfield when they have been top of the league and got a point, so we know we can do it.
"We are not a million miles away from mid-table. If we could pick up a point on Saturday (against Liverpool) that would be fantastic, unbelievable, and then we've got the Wigan game.
"If we got three points there people would say it has been a decent start.
"It is too early to get carried away with the start but I can understand the fans' frustrations because we are frustrated."