Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has put his faith in striker Vincent Janssen and insists the Dutchman’s poor form is “not an issue”.
Since joining the club in a £17m switch from AZ last summer, the 22-year-old has scored only three goals – none of which have come from open play – and has not found the net since October
Despite his concerning record, Janssen is set to replace the injured Harry Kane in Saturday’s FA Cup fourth round tie against League Two visitors Wycombe.
He started in the third round tie against Aston Villa but was substituted after an hour and the team has improved in his absence.
“For me, it is not an issue. Janssen is not in his best moment but he is young, it is his first season and we have had a lot of chats with him,” Pochettino told the Daily Mirror.
“It's normal. It's all new for him and he needs to be relaxed, train hard, try to improve and when he has the opportunity to play show his quality. But it is not a major issue.
"We will see what happens on Saturday. The most important thing is we believe in him and trust in him. But it is not because in the last few months he has struggled a little bit in his performances that created doubts in us.
“I think if he has the possibility to play he is ready to give his best. If not he must wait on the bench for another opportunity but I have no doubt about him.”
While Pochettino will almost certainly make wholesale changes to his side for the trip to Wycombe on Tuesday, the Argentine is insistent the FA Cup remains a priority this season.
Like Kane – who is recovering from a groin injury - defenders Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose will not be exposed to potential injuries this weekend ahead of Tuesday’s Premier League trip to Sunderland.
“I think the three can be available for Tuesday,” continued Pochettino, “but for Saturday it is a big risk to try to play with them.
“It is a good opportunity for those players who don’t play regularly to show their qualities.
“It needs to be a priority. We are in the FA cup, Premier league and Europa League. Three big challenges. Why not? But sometimes you get minor problems, like Harry, Toby or Danny Rose too, as he has a knock on his knee and we need to do a scan.
“When you are involved in three competitions and you have 25 players, it is important in this type of game to give some responsibility to the players who are not too much involved in the Premier League or Europa League.
“But that does not mean the FA Cup is not an objective. For me, the FA Cup must be an objective — to try to [get] as far as possible. It’s not an excuse.
“Every time that we play, Tottenham plays. If you are involved you need to give your best and show your quality.
"If you want to be long term in Tottenham, and deserve to wear the shirt, it’s a great opportunity to show it on Saturday.”