Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has received some criticism from the Bernabeu faithful of late as he has now gone 1,217 minutes without finding the back of the net.
Didier Deschamps, manager of the French national side, left the striker on the bench for Les Bleus last game against Belarus.
The striker, who joined Real Madrid from Lyon for €35million rising to €41million, has been backed to recover from his lean period by his international boss.
"The problem is that he's been coming up short for quite a while. He says that he's not affected by it. I'm not going to talk about doubts because it gives the impression that he's ill,” said Deschamps to Radio France Internationale (RFI).
“I'd say he's suffered from a lack of confidence and some bad luck. Sometimes he draws a fantastic save, other times he hits the post and it goes out rather than in, or a leg appears from nowhere at the last minute to block the shot.
“When a striker is on a run it makes a difference, but all the great number nines have had difficult times.”
The French boss also made it clear that the striker still has a part in his plans for the future as they look to qualify for the World Cup in Brazil next summer.
"He hasn't lost his place. I just decided he shouldn’t play the last game, that's all. It was a technical decision. We'll see what happens in the October games. Karim knows what I expect from him and he also knows that he's capable of better.”
Benzema has also received backing from Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti, who defended the striker's contribution to the team in the early part of the 2013/14 campaign, after he was booed by fans in the recent 4-1 win against Getafe.
"Benzema has put in some good performances," the Italian is quoted by the Daily Express. "I like his hard work on the pitch, regardless of whether he scores.
"I don't think it's a big problem for him that the fans whistled him. Sometimes it can even be a good thing, because it can motivate the players."
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/130seMa