Shrewsbury Town midfielder Josh Laurent has urged his team-mates to show more fight ahead of this weekend's meeting with Sunderland.
The Shrews, who lost in the League One play-off final last year, have suffered a difficult start to the campaign and have won just one of their last five games in the league.
Laurent, 23, scored his first goal for the club in the 2-1 win over Fleetwood on Saturday, after signing from Wigan in the summer.
However, the former Hartlepool United midfielder believes his new side showed a lack of leadership during the first half at Highbury.
“Maybe it takes an individual, at times, to make a big tackle or a run in behind or with the ball,” Laurent told the Shropshire Star.
“I think maybe one or two of us need to step up and become a leader at the start of games to get the rest of the team going.
“You can’t quite put your finger on it but it’s something we’ve got to work on together."
Shrewsbury have conceded first in six of their 13 League One games this season, and have fallen behind inside 20 minutes on three occasions.
Laurent is well aware of the side's slow starts and knows they must improve soon.
“Especially at Fleetwood, we couldn’t start like that. It’s windy, raining, but there was just not enough fight," said Laurent.
“We’ve got to do more. We’ve got to do something to make us fight more and give us a good chance in games."
Laurent, who has featured in 13 of Shrewsbury's 16 games this campaign, is keen to repay manager John Askey, who signed the midfielder in the summer.
Askey replaced Paul Hurst at the end of last season, and Laurent believes he's the right man for the job.
"We want to do more (for the manager). Because he gives us the freedom to play,” added Laurent.
“He’s not one, if we make mistakes, to moan at us for making mistakes. He wants you to play and have confidence.
“But you’ve got to work hard for him. I feel like I’ve got to pay him back (with) something. He brought me here, he’s been good with all of us, individually and as a team."