Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel says Christian Pulisic has been "unlucky" with a lack of game-time lately but needs to be patient.
Pulisic was a key figure for the Blues last season but has been reduced to a bit-part role under Tuchel, coming off the bench in their past four matches.
The United States international was a 90th minute substitute for Timo Werner in Monday's 2-0 win over Everton.
Tuchel, who worked with Pulisic during his time at Borussia Dortmund, clarified there was no issue between the pair and pointed at competition for spots.
"Yes, I can say nothing else but good things about him," Tuchel said. "Maybe his biggest problem is that I know him from Dortmund and I think he started only in the cup games.
"It is my responsibility and it is a bit unfair but I know what impact he can have in the last 20 or 30 minutes. He was a bit unlucky in the last few games.
"It isn't a lack of trust or quality, it is just that he will have to be patient.
"I have another guy who I would love to mention in Emerson who suffers from bad decisions by me. He does not play but he is an amazing guy who trains at the highest level and he never lets the team down with his mentality.
"It was a super hard decision today to have him out of the squad, the same with Tammy (Abraham). It is like this, we have a strong group. The guys have to keep on fighting. There's no other way."