John Brayford knows the time for inconsistency is over for Burton Albion if they are to make sure they do not "dwindle away and are forgotten about" in the Championship.
That slump follows on the heels of their most productive period, when they secured 10 points from five games over the Christmas period.
Albion's season has been defined by their inability - other than during that December run - to back up one positive performance with another.
Now, with a promising display in defeat to Aston Villa in the bag, Burton must kick on as they look to climb off the bottom of the table.
"We can sit here and talk about it, saying we played well at Villa - but we have got to go into the next game and do the same again," said Brayford, a staple of the Albion team since returning from injury in November.
"We can't keep reverting to good performance, then bad performance.
"We have to maintain a standard which is capable of keeping us in this division.
"Aston Villa was probably the standard we need to achieve week in, week out, until the end of the season."
So what changed between the two matches - and could that prove to be the catalyst for their survival bid?
"I don't know, I think it was just the mindset," added Brayford.
"'Look, do we want to stay in this league or are we just going to dwindle away and be forgotten about and make sure that everything written about us is right?'
"It's about standing up and saying we are better than this.
"We know we've got a good squad, it just hasn't been going to plan as we wanted.
"But there comes a point where you think, 'come on now, we've got to do this'.
"Aston Villa was only a stepping stone. There are a lot more games to go in which we need to do that.
"I don't want to be sat here in another month and we've reverted back to indifferent performances.
"We have to keep a standard that is high enough to stay in this league."
Heading into this weekend's game at Portman Road, Clough's Brewers are at the foot of the division, three points from safety.
Their push for survival this time around differs from 2016-17, when they spent only one week in the bottom three and did well to keep their heads above water.
But with 16 games still to play, Brayford feels his side are still in control of their own destiny.
"In a perfect world, you'd never want to be in the bottom three," he said.
"But it's not a perfect world, and we've got to deal with the situation that is in front of us.
"It's still a gap that is maintainable to close - we just have to concentrate on ourselves.
"Teams are going to play each other, we can't help other teams picking up points.
"We know we've got some big games coming up, and we've still got to play everyone around us as well.
"It is still in our own hands. We've got to have the belief that we can get through this and see it through to the end again."