Richard Dunne has called on his Aston Villa team-mates to show more self-belief ahead of the busy festive period.
Villa are due to face Bolton, Liverpool, Arsenal, Stoke and Chelsea before the new year in a tricky set of fixtures.
Alex McLeish's side were disappointing in last weekend's home defeat to Manchester United and Dunne believes they need to start games better and impose themselves more if they are to pick up some positive results.
"It is a hard programme because we've got the top teams in a row just before Christmas and it's a lot of games too," he said.
"I think we just have to have a bit more belief in ourselves. We are waiting to work our way into games and having a bit too much respect for our opponents.
"The manager told us at half-time to have more belief in ourselves and more confidence and I think in the second half it showed.
"We've got to do that from the start when Liverpool and Arsenal come here. We've got to believe we can challenge them."