Sunderland boss Steve Bruce feels goalkeeper Craig Gordon is in need of a confidence boost after another difficult afternoon on the pitch.
Bruce was unhappy with the £9million Scotland international's role in Tottenham's first-half equaliser on Saturday with Michael Dawson's header going through his legs as the Black Cats slipped to a 2-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at the Stadium of Light.
Bruce said: "It's simply down to confidence. Confidence is a big, big thing and at the moment, it's not quite happening for him. We were disappointed with the first goal - I am sure he is, like everybody else - but these things happen with the goalkeeper."
He added: "The big thing is he has got to stay positive. He is a very, very good goalkeeper, but unfortunately at the minute, he is having a hard time of it, which everybody does."
Saturday's defeat was Sunderland's third in succession in the league, something they have not experienced before under Bruce, and they have conceded nine goals in the process.
Gordon has missed only two of the last 17 games since returning from a wrist injury to replace Belgian Simon Mignolet in November.
The Black Cats do not play again until they travel to Everton on February 26 to launch a difficult run of games which also includes successive fixtures against Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City, and Bruce faces a decision over whether or not to stick with Gordon or take him out of the firing line.
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