Martin O'Neill has backed Nicky Shorey to force his way back into the first-team fold at Aston Villa.
The summer signing from Reading has struggled to settle since moving to the Midlands, with his form dipping as a result.
He has started 11 Premier League games for the Villans, but has been hauled off in seven of those fixtures.
O'Neill still believes his £4million man will prove to be a shrewd acquisition for the club, despite asking regular right-back Luke Young to deputise in Shorey's usual position on the left during the weekend win at Arsenal.
"When players come in with little pre-season it's just a matter of getting to grips with it and knowing what we want," the Ulsterman told the Birmingham Mail.
"Luke Young went to play left-back and in the first minute of the game Theo Walcott raced past him.
"But, I thought he stuck to his task and started to read it better. For basically a right-back playing at left-back he did very well indeed.
"As for Nicky, he will come again. At this minute he's trying to get used to the environment and what I'm asking him to do.
"He's a lovely footballer. It might have been a real test against Walcott after the mistake against Middlesbrough and I thought Luke Young coped brilliantly."
While Shorey will be disappointed to have fallen behind Young in the pecking order, the England international will also be aware that Wilfred Bouma is closing in on full fitness.
The Dutchman has been sidelined since breaking his ankle against Odense in the Intertoto Cup in July, but admits his rehabilitation is progressing nicely.
"I am on track. When will I play again? It will still take a few months - certainly not until the New Year," said Bouma.
"I hope to be back in training this year, but I will not be ready for games."