Lee Cattermole has admitted to Sunderland's official website that he has been disappointed with his form over the early weeks of the season.
The midfielder was one of the Black Cats' most integral players last term, but he has already lost his place in the starting line-up this time around, and was left on the substitutes' bench in Sunderland's most recent outing against Tottenham Hotspur.
Cattermole has been utilised in a new role, as one of the two defensive midfielders in Sunderland's 4-2-3-1 formation, and he admits that adapting to the position has taken time.
"I have been disappointed by my start to the season," he said. "I have been a bit in and out and haven’t really got my season going, but I’m confident I will and I firmly believe I still have a big part to play so I will keep my head down and keep working hard.
"There have been changes in the team and changes in the formation so there are new things for me to think about. These things happen and it is part of the game.
"I have spent a lot of time playing in front of the back four and if we aren’t going to play that way I need to look at my game and adapt into the system the manager wants."
Cattermole made 28 appearances for Sunderland last season, and he appeared to have rectified a number of issues which were previously plaguing his game.
The former England under-21 international has been accused of being too erratic, but he was generally disciplined and reliable in the 2014/15 campaign.
However, he has been unable to find his best form again so far this season, and he is not the only Sunderland player short of their best.
The Black Cats have started the new campaign inauspiciously, and they are currently in 19th place in the Premier League table, with a game against Bournemouth away awaiting them this weekend.