England wing Chris Ashton believes he has improved as a player since joining current Aviva Premiership leaders Saracens.
The 26-year-old was dropped by England head coach Stuart Lancaster for the Six Nations earlier in the year and was then left out of the British & Irish Lions' summer tour to Australia.
Following injuries to Marland Yarde and Christian Wade, Ashton was back in action for England in the autumn internationals - and went on to snatch a try in the victory over Argentina.
Reflecting on coming through the tough times, the former Northampton star said: "If it isn't sometimes going right for you, you've got to be able to do every little thing well. That's what the best players are good at.
"Even if they're not in a game they're still doing the small things well, and getting those right, and that's the bit I need to work on.
"Saracens as a team do that very well, and they have definitely helped me personally with that in the time I've been here.
"I kind of knew I was trying to force things during the Six Nations, not concentrating enough across the board.
"The sudden end to the season, Stuart Lancaster saying have a rest, that was when I realised.
"I was never anywhere near the Lions, and having to watch that, I think that was the point where I realised I had to improve points of my game. I feel a much better all-round player now."
Sarries will be heavy favourites when they play host to Sale at Allianz Park on Saturday.