Aston Villa right-back Olof Mellberg believes his side need to rediscover the knack of killing games off after letting umpteen chances slip through their fingers in what should have been a certain victory over high-flying Manchester City.
The Sweden international admitted the team had been disappointed and frustrated in allowing another potential victory to escape them in a match they dominated for long spells.
The 1-1 draw with Sven-Goran Eriksson's men was Villa's fourth match without a win and Mellberg said the team needed to convert their chances.
He said: "We have been guilty of not killing games off and that has been the case over the last few weeks. We haven't won for quite some time now and yet we are playing fairly well for most of the games."
Villa have now drawn two and lost two since a convincing run of three away games in succession.
The Swede continued: "We are in that spell at the moment and hopefully we can score a few goals and get out of this as soon as possible.
"We have teams down and are dominating the games and really putting pressure on them but then after playing well - probably up until the last third - we are struggling to create those really big chances.
"Hopefully we can do that, starting on Wednesday with the trip to Chelsea."
Like his manager and his captain, Gareth Barry, Mellberg was full of praise for Villa's goalscorer John Carew.
He said: "He did really well. He is always a handful with his size and he is quick as well and is also good at holding the ball up. He has done well for us all of this season.
"It was a top drawer performance from him but we have seen that over the last few weeks. He is a handful and is a handful in training and when he is on top of his game he is difficult to handle for anyone.
"When he is on top of his game he is really hot to handle and a top, top striker. It is very difficult to play against him with his size and you don't want to give him too much space either because because he is really quick over the first 10-15 yards.
"Those strengths are always difficult to handle and you have to be on top of your game as a defender as well to be able to handle it."
Mellberg said it was crucial to have a good string of results over Christmas if teams were to take Villa's quest for European football seriously.
He said: "Christmas was the turning point in the wrong way last season. Hopefully we can get a couple of good results. We are battling for those positions behind the top four.
"It took a long time for us to recover last season. If you have a good couple of weeks and are in good form, you get a lot of points and if it is the other way around you drop quite a lot of positions.
"We are in that position in the league now as well. Are we going up or are we going down? We are a couple of points off fifth or sixth position but we are a couple of points from going down to 10th, 11th. It is a big period."
Mellberg said it would help Martin O'Neill attract better players in January if Villa were in the top six or seven.
He said: "We have been fortunate so far to have a fit squad this season and it hasn't looked too bad.
"The situation is not as desperate as it was last season when we were really short at this stage but the manager is probably looking at a few things and we will see what happens. "