Ghanaian Prince Buaben admits that missing almost an entire season of football is taking its toll on his form.
The Carlisle United midfielder says he knows he can perform better as the Blues prepare for a key run of games.
He has made 15 appearances so far this term, after just one first-team outing for Watford in the whole of the 2012/13 campaign.
The 25-year-old says he is “loving” the chance to rebuild his career under Graham Kavanagh.
But he added: “I can definitely do better.
“Missing last season, and then trying to pick it up [again], is quite hard.
“But I just need to try harder and harder.
“I feel that fitness-wise I’m doing well, I just have to concentrate more on my game and try hard every day.”
Places in the United team are up for grabs for Saturday’s game against Colchester after last weekend’s defeat at Leyton Orient, with Liam Noble pushing for a midfield recall.
Buaben, though, says that individual battles for selection must take a lower billing to the team’s need for crucial survival points.
“It is not about playing for your place – you are playing for the team, to do well for the team,” he added.
“We have to forget about what happened [at Orient] and kick on.
“I think we have got great players, we just have to get our confidence back and get up and running again.
“We have to get things going in away games but at home we have been doing well and hopefully this weekend we can get another win.”