Reading midfielder Mikele Leigertwood has accepted that his side are underperforming in the Championship this season.
The Royals are 23rd in the division after a run of form that has seen them claim just a single win after seven games.
Brian McDermott's side have lost their last five games and welcome Doncaster Rovers to the Madejski Stadium on Saturday - the only side below them in the table.
Last season's play-off finalists were believed to be one of the main contenders for promotion before the season started.
They strengthened their ranks with the signing of lower-league hot-shot Adam Le Fondre from Rotherham in August and he made his debut in the defeat to Watford last weekend.
Leigertwood has played in six of the Berkshire club's seven league games this season and admits that he needs to improve.
Not up to scratch
He said: "You compare yourself to what you did last year and if I'm totally honest with myself I'm not up to scratch and a lot of us can say that.
"We're not stupid to think we are doing well, we know we're not and we want to put it right.
"I've got to work hard enough to keep my spot and that goes for everyone.
"We're disappointed after the recent run but although it does hurt we can't dwell on it. We have to try and put it right.
"Training's been good and always has been, but you need to express yourself out on the pitch and put your training ground work into games.
"At the moment, we're probably not doing that."