Harry Redknapp has explained he brought Gareth Bale on against Burnley to get his unwanted Tottenham hoodoo off his back.
Rather surprisingly the former Southampton and Wales defender needed 25 league games in a Spurs shirt before ending on the winning team for the North Londoners.
Redknapp, who believes the 20-year-old has great potential, was keen to bring on the youngster in last weekend's demolition job of Burnley.
The Spurs boss insists his displays in the Carling Cup have been impressive, although he concedes he had been affected by his poor league record.
"That's why I put him on," Redknapp said. "I thought we needed to break that hoodoo.
"It's affected him, I think, but he played well in the Carling Cup match before.
"He's a left-back really and he could be a top player."
Bale has been kept on the sidelines this term by the impressive form of Cameroon international Benoit Assou-Ekotto, a player Redknapp also rates very highly.
"We have a great left-back in Benoit Assou-Ekotto," he continued. "He's a terrific player, he's quick, he's a great passer.
"He whips it into feet and he has it all to be a top player."