Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor may have lost his goalscoring touch for now but his manager has given him a major vote of confidence by insisting he values him as much as a team player as a striker.
The England youngster has not scored in his last ten games and last found the net in December in Villa's 2-1 victory over Wigan Athletic at the JJB Stadium. But manager Martin O'Neill is not concerned and he believes England manager Fabio Capello should not be worried either.
The Villa boss feels Agbonlahor has far more in his locker than merely finding the back of the net.
O'Neill saw his young Birmingham-born protege miss an open goal in Saturday's 2-0 defeat at Portsmouth but insists he is still keeping faith with the 21-year-old.
He said: "Gabby Agbonlahor is the last player in the world I will be sitting down and criticising. A fortnight ago at Arsenal he was incredible and he ran Arsenal ragged. The only thing about it - and he shouldn't get down - is that I know centre forwards have it in the back of their minds that they want to score a goal or two.
"He hasn't scored for a number of games. He hasn't scored this year and he will be worrying about that but it doesn't bother me a jot. It will worry him a bit - of course it will."
O'Neill, who played for Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest side which was so successful in the early 1980s, added: "I wish I had had a manager telling me that in my day.
"I would have felt a lot better but I know Gabby does so much else and so many other things for us as well as attempting to score goals.
"Saturday wasn't his best day but I am not concerned about Gabby. He will get a goal again and he is the least of my concerns at this football club."
O'Neill was disappointed in the result but not in his side's effort as they commanded much of the possession in the second half.
He also refused to condemn defender Olof Mellberg who was sent off in the 79th minute and joined Pompey's Sulley Ali Muntari in seeing red at the hands of referee Chris Foy after both accrued two yellow cards each for second bookable offences.
The Villa boss said: "When you get a booking you always run the risk of getting a second one and then a red card. I think the referee saw that and I am not complaining."
O'Neill's team provided five potential England players for Fabio Capello's inaugural squad last month and the Villa boss is sure winger Ashley Young has done enough to impress the Italian once again.
He said: "Ashley was outstanding. I think it is a real mark of respect from opponents now that they double up on him. You can see it as the ball is played out to him and people start to converge on him."