Luke Young says Aston Villa need to rediscover the balance between attack and defence after shipping 24 goals in their last 10 fixtures.
Villa's hopes of achieving a UEFA Champions League spot all but vanished last Sunday when they drew 3-3 with Euro rivals Everton to extend their winless run to 10 games in all competitions.
It was a mixed afternoon for the Midlands outfit, who now trail fourth-placed Arsenal by nine points, although Martin O'Neill's side showed great character to twice recover from a two-goal deficit to share the spoils with the Toffees at the weekend.
Defender Young, who is full of praise for the expansive football O'Neill encourages, believes when Villa find the happy medium they can match any team in the division.
But the 29-year-old concedes it also leaves Villa exposed to the same counter-attacking style which has been their own strength in sustaining a top-six standing in the Premier League this season.
"It is something that comes with the territory of the way we play," said Young, whose side have failed to keep a clean sheet since the 2-0 win at Blackburn in early February.
"We are so expansive that at times we do leave ourselves so short and we get counter-attacked ourselves.
"At the moment we are not doing well enough as a back four or as a team defence-wise.
"We don't want to stop anything in terms of our attacking play because, at the minute, it is a joy to watch at times with the boys flowing forward.
"But I think there is a fine balance and we have maybe got to be a little bit more cautious at times.
"I think we are finding ourselves going a goal behind and we are trying to chase the game and then suddenly we are two behind and we are chasing it even more."
Young revealed there was little joy amongst the players in the aftermath of rescuing a point against Everton.
The England international said: "You would have thought we would have been pleased to get a point in the end but in the dressing room it was quite flat afterwards even though we'd come back from 3-1 down.
"The result kept Everton at bay a little bit but we wanted to win the game. We haven't won for a while so there were positives there - but we can't keep having to score three goals."
Young is hoping Villa can end the season on a high, starting with Saturday's home clash with West Ham.
He said: "The season sorts of gets overshadowed with the bad run we've been on. A couple of months ago we were riding high and everything was positive.
"We were on such a great run and trying to get Champions League football.
"It has taken the gloss off the end of the season a little bit but, hopefully with the last six games, we can pick it up again and give a good account of ourselves."