Mark Hughes' side extended their winless run at the start of the campaign to 10 matches after Reading held them to a 1-1 draw at Loftus Road on Sunday.
That leaves the Londoners five points from safety in the relegation zone and with games against Stoke, Southampton, Sunderland, Aston Villa and Wigan coming up in the next month, Mackie knows now is the time to put some points on the board.
"Obviously this club is thinking big but first and foremost we're in a scrap and everyone needs to realise that," he said.
"We need to roll our sleeves up and really scrap to get ourselves out of it rather than have visions of playing a lot higher.
"Of course we don't want to be in a scrap. We need to try to win games now so come the Christmas period we're in a position where we can try to kick on.
"We beat top sides at home last season, deservedly, we played very well at times, but it's not a given that we can do that again.
"It's an opportunity now to get points on the board and we need to learn very quickly and make sure we do that because before you know it we'll be playing top sides again."