Andre Villas-Boas has admitted that Michael Dawson will need to compete for his place in the Tottenham this season, after a last-minute move to QPR fell through on deadline day.
Villas-Boas has had a tough start to the season, with Spurs suffering from a disappointing 1-1 draw to Norwich in their third league match that leaves them without a win in 14th place in the table.
And while Dawson came close to being sold in the summer - despite being given the captaincy after Ledley King retired - Villas-Boas said he would have to compete to keep his place in the starting line-up this season.
"We have chatted," he said, as reported by Goal.com. "There is extreme competition for that central defence position.
"Younes' operation will take him out for three to four months and it is up to Michael to compete.
"I'm sure he will come good. He is an extremely good professional and a club captain. He is looking forward to getting back into the team."
Tottenham had a particularly busy deadline day as they sought replacements for the likes of Rafael van der Vaart and Luka Modric, with Moussa Dembele, Hugo Lloris and Clint Dempsey all making last minute moves to White Hart Lane.
But the side will take time to deal with the outgoings and incomings of the summer, and with Villas-Boas putting his 'project' into place at the club, Tottenham fans may have to be patient as they look to challenge for a Champions League place once more.
The purchase of Dempsey was a particularly successful coup for the north London club, who were able to snare him from the clutches of Liverpool in the final hours of the transfer window.
But despite getting an extension on the deadline to do a deal for Joao Moutinho, Spurs were unable to get the deal over the line for the star in time.
Former assistant coach Joe Jordan urged fans today to give Villas-Boas time to get his project into place.
"I thought Spurs were the better team at Newcastle [when they lost 2-1]," Jordan told Talksport.
"They didn't get the goals and that is so important. The two home games [against West Brom and Norwich] there was a pressure on and the way that they conceded the goals towards the end was disappointing.
"But he has got some good players there, some very good players, and he has bought in players that he wanted, so you have got to let it gel together.
"It is not going to happen overnight, especially players coming from abroad. They take time to settle, not just on the field but off it. It takes a bit of time."