Defender Phil Bardsley has admitted Aston Villa need a win to restore belief among the players after claiming they have been severely affected by the "crazy" stop-start nature of the fixture list for the past two months.
Martin O’Neill’s side host Everton on Monday - only their fourth Premiership encounter since losing at Reading in early February.
Their early exit from the FA Cup, fixtures being postponed because of rival teams being involved in other competitions and international breaks has meant long spells of inactivity.
On-loan Manchester United defender Bardsley said: "We just need a win to get bit of belief in the side again. The games haven’t been coming thick and fast and the way our fixtures have been so stop-start is crazy.
"We lost at Reading and you want to come straight back from that but we had to wait three weeks! Then we played Fulham and we were a bit ring rusty. We had another 11-day break after that. We played Arsenal and Liverpool in the space of four days and now we’ve been off for another two weeks.
"It’s not ideal. I want to be playing every week if I can and I think the fans would definitely see more from the team if our fixtures hadn’t been disrupted so much."
Bardsley believes Villa can finish the campaign on a positive note after seeing encouraging signs during the past few games despite a sequence of two wins in the last 18 matches.
He said: "You can see the team coming together in patches and it’s only matter of time before we see the full response.
"Any other team would be looking over their shoulder in the position we are in - but that’s not the case with us.
"We’re capable of picking up points against teams like Everton, Wigan and Blackburn over the next few games."
O’Neill is quietly optimistic despite Villa having slipped considerably from the lofty heights of third in the table when they defeated Everton in November.
He said: "Despite our recent results, I believe we are slowly getting a decent team together. Naturally, we still need points to be sure of playing in the top flight again next season and, the sooner we do that, the better.
"But I feel confident we are heading in the right direction. We need to have the ability to maybe change the draws into wins and the losses into draws.
"At the start of the season, people were saying we were drawing too many games during our unbeaten run. I wouldn’t mind the occasional draw now."
Central defender Martin Laursen is pushing for a first team recall after a hamstring injury forced him to miss the home games with Arsenal and Liverpool.