Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny admits his performances for the club have been inconsistent so far this season.
The 27-year-old joined up late with the Gunners squad over the summer after representing France at Euro 2012 and has struggled with injuries in the early weeks of the campaign.
“It’s been hard, of course,” he told Arsenal’s official matchday programme.
“I lost most of pre-season because I was away with France, and then I had an injury right at the beginning of the season. It was difficult to come back from that quickly – the season had started, the players were up and running and you need time to get back to the required level.
“I know that I’ve played some good games and some not so good this season, but I’m working hard to stay fit and well.
“We have great competition for places at the back … and we have a lot of respect for each other.
“It’s healthy for us, and we don’t stop trying to improve as individuals and as a unit.”
Koscielny has not featured in the Premier League since the 3-1 win over West Ham on October 6, but could face Fulham on Saturday after returning to the starting XI for the midweek draw with Schalke in the Champions League.