Playing well for just 15 minutes in a game is not the recipe for success, according to Yoan Gouffran.
And the Newcastle United forward knows that his side must up their game if the Magpies are to maintain their charge for promotion at the business end of the Championship.
While many expected a reaction after the embarrassment of the weekend FA Cup defeat at Oxford United, Rafa Benitez's men were in disappointing form as they drew 2-2 at home to QPR on Tuesday night.
Gouffran admits the performance was just not up to scratch, and must be improved upon to ensure the visit of Derby County to St James' Park does not result in yet more dropped points.
"It was two points dropped because we wanted to win," said the Frenchman.
"We have to do better, we have to play better and we have to improve.
"It was a good start for us, because we scored early, and we pushed to score the second goal. But we made some mistakes, and after it became difficult to stay focused.
"We are at the top of the table, and we have to play better.
"I thought we didn’t do well in the game – if you watch all the game, we played well only for 15 minutes, so we have to do better.
"I think we started the first half well, and we played well for maybe 15 or 20 minutes but after, we started to make some mistakes and we lost some confidence.
"I don’t know why that was. Maybe our mistakes gave QPR some confidence, and after they scored their goals."
Former Bordeaux man Gouffran says the Newcastle dressing-room was a sombre place in midweek after Ciaran Clark's last minute own goal robbed them of the chance of going to the top of the Championship table.
"It was quiet," he said.
"That is because we wanted to win. We want to finish first, and we’ve lost some points and the team that’s first has some points on us.
"We have to get some wins in a row, and we will see."
The Rams and former boss Steve McClaren are next up for United, who could possibly still go top with a win, depending on what happens between Brighton and Huddersfield this evening.
Looking ahead to Saturday, and reflecting back on United's 2-0 win back in September, in which Gouffran himself scored a cracker, the player said: "It’s not the same team that we played in September. They’ve changed managers.
"I watched them play against Leicester (in the FA Cup) and I think they did well. They are a different team, and they have some good players. It’s going to be a tough game.
"I know they are doing well at the minute, they are winning games and they are in the play-off places, so they’re a good team. It will be a tough game."