Steve Howard concedes it is vital Derby County start picking up points 'sooner rather than later'.
The Rams have struggled since clinching promotion to the Premier League and have accrued just six points from their opening 17 games.
Experienced striker Howard, who is the only player to have scored for the Rams in almost three months, accepts the team need to start winning games.
When asked about survival, Howard told Sky Sports News: "It's going to be hard, and we always said it was going to be hard from the start.
"We've got to put some points on the board and we've got to do that sooner rather than later, and hopefully climb that table.
"With the few games [coming up] we've got to try and get points on the board."
Though Derby are currently eight points from safety, Howard feels the hectic Christmas programme could change the complexion of the relegation battle.
He added: "The games come thick and fast and we hope to get a few wins.
"The table changes quite a lot over the next couple of weeks and hopefully we can change that."
But despite Derby toiling at the bottom of the table, Howard is still savouring the chance to play Premier League football.
The 31-year-old continued: "It's been hard, don't get me wrong, but it's been enjoyable, even in the position we're in.
"I've waited a long time to play in this league and I'm going to enjoy every minute. That's what I'm doing at the moment, so hopefully it will continue."