Barry Bannan claims Aston Villa's 'season starts now' as they prepare to enter a run of 'winnable' fixtures.
The first of those games arrives on Tuesday, when fellow Premier League strugglers Reading travel to Villa Park.
Bannan is aware of the importance of taking points off those around you and feels a positive showing against the Royals would set Villa up nicely for meetings with Queens Park Rangers and Stoke over the coming weeks.
Coming off the back of tough tests against Manchester giants United and City and a goalless draw with Arsenal, the Scotland international said: "We want to be higher up the table and it has not worked out that way but we are not even halfway through the season.
"We've just played three massive teams in the league and it's been really tough.
"We've acquitted ourselves well but I think our season starts now with the games we've got up and coming.
"We all know in the changing room we've got quality. We're a bit young but I think we are confident in our own ability.
"Hopefully these games that are up and coming are winnable games and we can shoot up the table."
Bannan has re-established himself in Paul Lambert's starting line-up over recent weeks, but is aware that he must maintain a high level of performance if he is to retain his place.
He added: "I know there are people knocking on the door trying to get my position so I've got to keep performing at a high level every week.
"I just feel confident at the moment going out onto the pitch because the gaffer has given me that confidence by playing me for a certain amount of games.
"But I can always do better. I'm still young and trying to improve every day."
What will be the outcome in the match Aston Villa vs Reading?