Emmerson Boyce has called on his Wigan Athletic team-mates to play to their potential at all times, rather than when they have to.
Roberto Martinez's side have spent the last two seasons battling against relegation, with late rescue missions seeing them scrape survival on each occasion.
Those at the DW Stadium are determined to avoid being dragged into another dogfight, but Boyce has warned that they need to start picking up points now if they are to steer clear of trouble.
Wigan did not start playing until they were two goals down at Swansea City on Saturday, and they cannot afford to keep giving themselves a mountain to climb.
Boyce said: "We are only playing when we are forced to, like at the end of the season, and we have to change that.
"When we were 2-0 down we started playing, got a goal back and were a much better team.
"At this level, it's ourselves we have to blame. When you give a team a two-goal lead then it's always going to be hard to pull it back.
"We have to start playing like we finished today and we played at the end of last season - but we have to do that from the first whistle.
"We must get on the front foot. Next up it's West Ham at home and we have to take it to them and kick-start our season."