Sunderland manager Steve Bruce is confident that midfield pair Lee Cattermole and Lorik Cana will get back to top form to help the Black Cats arrest their dramatic downturn in form.
Cattermole has been troubled by injuries in recent weeks, while Cana has started to struggle after starting his career in England in style, following his arrival from Marseille.
However, Bruce expects both men to respond in the near future and help banish fears of the Wearsiders being dragged into a relegation battle.
He told reporters: "It's very difficult. I know from my own experience, if you miss a big chunk of the season through injury, it takes you, in my opinion, just as long to get back.
"If you are out for six weeks, it takes you six weeks to get back to where you should be.
"In Lee's case, there is no more genuine boy than he is and he is trying his utmost and he will get there. The more games he plays, the better he will become."
Of Cana, Bruce added: "It's caught up with him. It's the intensity because the adaptation from playing in France to here is huge.
"The intensity of the game in England is the one thing that takes some getting used to. But I have no problems with Lorik in terms of his commitment to the cause."