Kieran Richardson feels that his form has dipped of late as a result of an injury-ravaged season.
The Sunderland winger has shown the Black Cats faithful glimpses of what he is capable of this season, but has unfortunately spent more time on the treatment table than he has in Roy Keane's first team.
It has been a frustrating first season on Wearside for the man who arrived from Manchester United in the summer and he admits that he has found it difficult to adapt to the rigours of top-flight football as a result of the continuous interruptions.
"I've only played nine games all season - it's been stop start," he told the Sunderland Echo.
"That's not good because you need to be at your fittest and sharpest in this league. I'm still looking for my match fitness and the quicker it comes the better.
"I definitely need more games, but the only way forward for me and all of the lads is to get our heads down and work very hard towards our next game."
A 1-0 defeat at home to Everton on Sunday has left Sunderland precariously perched just two points above the relegation zone with nine games remaining, a situation which Richardson recognises as being far from ideal.
"Everton were hard to break down," he said.
"The effort was definitely there from us, but Everton are up there challenging for Europe because they are organised and are a tough side.
"We weren't outclassed in the game and neither keeper had a lot to do, but the bottom line is we've lost and we're still in a tight position."
Chelsea are the next visitors to the Stadium of Light on Saturday, and Richardson hopes that the Blues will still be suffering a hangover from their shock 1-0 defeat to Barnsley in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.
"Barnsley got in Chelsea's faces and scored a great goal," he said.
"Every team in the Premier League is beatable and that's the fantastic thing about this league."