Martin O'Neill believes Aston Villa goalkeeper Scott Carson may take time to recover from his calamitous mistake for England in their Euro 2008 qualifier with Croatia at Wembley.
But he has urged the player on loan from Liverpool to take heart from the likes of Peter Shilton and Pat Jennings who made errors and went on to become top class keepers.
Carson gifted Croatia their opening goal in a 3-2 win at Wembley which meant England failed to qualify for the finals in Austria and Switzerland next summer.
It was a nightmare way for the 22-year-old to make his competitive debut for his country. But O'Neill has faith in Carson to eventually recover and he is expected to play in tomorrow's Barclays Premier League clash at Middlesbrough.
O'Neill said: "I will speak to him. Our goalkeeping coach spoke to him after the game. He will be disappointed. There is no question of that.
"But he is only 22 and I would be hoping eventually that this is looked at as just one of those things which is part of your career. Peter Shilton made a mistake way back in 1973 against Poland and only turned out to be the best keeper in the world after that.
"Carson has a long way to go before he is considered like Shilton but he can draw some sort of comfort from the fact what happened to him can happen to the very best.
"I remember Pat Jennings saying that for two years after signing from Watford for Tottenham he was chucking the ball into the net. He turned out to be one of the greatest keepers that ever lived."
O'Neill added: "Of course, Scott will be pretty down and low about it. He will be low because England have failed to qualify and his great save in the second half to keep England in it at 2-1 will be forgotten.
"That's the way it goes in this game. His position in goal is so important. Any mistake a keeper makes is highlighted. Psychologically it may take a bit of time to recover from it. I accept that.
"But he has got time on his side. I am sure Scott is strong enough and will want to play the game (on Saturday). He is especially young for a keeper."
O'Neill is unsure what sort of reaction Carson will receive from fans around the country after his blunder. He said: "I don't know what the reaction will be. Whatever I say won't make a jot of a difference.
"I would be hoping when the game is analysed that Carson showed he was able to atone for a mistake in some aspect by making an incredible, instinctive save. But is that what England fans at this minute still despondent from qualifying really want to hear? I am not sure."