O’Neill told the Birmingham Mail: “It’s a learning process. Take my own example many years ago. I came into the Nottingham Forest side many years ago and scored goals in the big division in a side that was struggling.
“I enjoyed it and the old comment came out about ‘if he’s doing well in a struggling side, imagine how much easier it would be in a good side’. But it doesn’t work like that. Sometimes it’s harder.
“It’s sometimes more difficult to play in a side full of quality and sometimes it’s easier to stand out in a team that is struggling if you’re playing well.”
He added: “The next season proved very difficult for me. That was because you felt that you had achieved something and didn’t want to let anything go by.
“It wasn’t through lack of trying. Something doesn’t happen for you and the next minute you’ve gone three, four, five games without making a marked contribution and then someone’s taken your place.
“But Steven definitely has the ability to play regularly in the side and getting back to what’s he capable of doing and I’m sure he knows that himself.”