Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson says Louis Saha's form cannot be judged until he gets a run of games under his belt.
The former Fulham striker came under fire for his abject display in The Red Devils' 2-1 win over Sporting on Tuesday.
However, Ferguson believes the French hit-man is still someway from full match sharpness having completed only one 90-minute run-out this year.
"Louis' last full game before the match at Bolton, was last December, so you have to take that into consideration before talking about touch and confidence," said Ferguson.
"He needs games and it's difficult, knowing the situation he is in with injuries. We have to be careful, but he felt great [against Sporting] and that's encouraging."
Meanwhile, Ferguson believes Cristiano Ronaldo is developing into one of the best players he has ever worked with during his lengthy tenure at Old Trafford.
Despite managing the likes of club legends Eric Cantona, Bryan Robson and Roy Keane, is it one of the club's current crop of stars that tops the pile.
"I've had some great players here over the years - Bryan Robson and Roy Keane," he stated on a DVD celebrating the life of Ronaldo.
"I love Cantona. He was a marvelous player. But in terms of sheer ability and imagination, Cristiano is without doubt, looking the best now."