Salif Diao insists he is yet to reach peak form despite an impressive showing against Chelsea on Saturday.
The Senegal international's recent return from a persistent knee injury has come as a welcome boost to the Potters as they look for their experienced stars to guide them towards Premier League survival.
However, with a 2-0 defeat against the Blues at the weekend ensuring Tony Pulis' side remain lodged in the relegation zone, Diao's thoughts are currently occupied with helping the team win points, rather than basking in personal accolades.
"My own performance is not very important, the most important thing is the team," he told The Sentinel.
"I know sometimes I could do more for myself, but I always think of the team and try to do what the team really need me for.
"Everyone is happy with the work I have done, but I am still not at the level I want to be. But these are good games for me to raise my level and be ready for the big games."
Having faced title hopefuls Chelsea and Liverpool in consecutive fixtures, Diao believes the Potters are now in a confident frame of mind heading into upcoming contests with those sides battling it out in mid-table.
He added: "I think we have done everything we could. Chelsea are a big team, but we showed commitment and that is the most important thing.
"At the moment, we are playing all the biggest teams and I think they are really at a different level.
"I think the big fight will be when we start playing the mid-table teams.
"It is very important for us to learn from these big games before we play against our 'real' opponents.
"They are the mid-table teams and the teams who are down there."
Meanwhile, Leon Cort admits he was left 'devastated' on Saturday after his error allowed Nicolas Anelka to fire home Chelsea's second goal and kill off the game as a contest.
"I feel devastated by what happened," said Cort.
"That's life as a defender. You can be doing well for so long in a game, then suddenly a mistake comes at you.
"I was in two minds and should have cleared first time. Hopefully, you learn from such mistakes. If I could re-wind time, I would."