Tottenham manager Antonio Conte has acknowledged forward Son Heung-min is “angry” and lacking confidence but has backed him to start scoring again.
The 30-year-old South Korean has now gone eight games without a goal.
Conte has not decided whether to rest him for Saturday’s visit of Premier League bottom side Leicester.
“I think Sonny, for sure, is not happy because he’s not scoring. It’s normal and I like that he’s a bit angry with this situation,” said the Italian.
“It means that he wants to try to change it, also because we need [him].”
Son’s goal drought comes after he finished last season as joint Premier League Golden Boot winner alongside Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, but Conte is aware of the demands on his player.
“Sonny, he’s a really important player for us. At the same time, it can happen, especially when you play massive games, you can be a bit tired mentally, also your body, so it can happen.
“But I repeat Sonny for me would be never, never a problem. We are talking about one of the best two players that we have in our team.
“For sure it can happen that in some games he can’t play from the start, like Harry [Kane] also. But only to protect him, to give the possibility to rest, to take care of his energy and to bring us to win.
“We are talking about players that during the game, they are decisive and we need to have these players always to be at the top.”
The last time Son started a Premier League match on the bench when fully fit was back in the summer of 2020 away at Bournemouth.
Since then he has played almost every minute when available for Tottenham and hit the 20-goal mark in each of the last two campaigns.
“When you score a lot of goals, the following season is more difficult because you are not an underdog, but are starting like you are the first top scorer up there with Mohamed Salah,” Conte explained.
“But when you don’t [score], for sure the confidence goes a bit down. At the same time, I think a strong player copes with this situation, faces this situation…and overcomes this situation.
“And again I repeat – Sonny has a lot of credit with me, with his team-mates, with the fans and with the whole environment. For this reason, Sonny for me will never be a problem.”