RALPH Hasenhuttl insists he has “a good relationship” with Nathan Tella and offers the assurance that: “We will have games where he is my number one option.”

Supporters were left disappointed after Tella was an unused substitute during the 2-1 defeat at Norwich, despite Theo Walcott coming on and Ibrahima Diallo being used in the 10 from the off.

It was seen by some as a slight to Tella, who has only made one Premier League start this campaign.

It is known that Hasenhuttl sees the 22-year-old’s best position as a forward, with Adam Armstrong, Armando Broja and Che Adams all likely ahead of him in that pecking order.

But speaking ahead of the visit to Liverpool, Hasenhuttl responded to a question on the youngster’s development.

He said: "He will get time. I think it is a special situation with him. He is very similar to Adam Armstrong and this is his problem.

"There will be games where we need his qualities and he has them. These games will come, for sure, he is still so young and he is willing to learn.

"There are still times when he is a little sloppy in his technique but this is getting better and that's normal.

"I have a good relationship with this guy and all the young lads. They are pushing themselves and they all want to play."

He added: "Tella played a fantastic game against Chelsea, for example, and we will have games where he is my number one option."