Steffen Freund wants Michael Dawson to prove his worth to Tottenham by impressing in Wednesday night's Capital One Cup tie against Carlisle.
Dawson assumed the club captaincy this summer following the retirement of Ledley King, but the former Nottingham Forest defender is yet to see a single minute of action under Andre Villas-Boas.
The Portuguese made Dawson his fifth-choice centre-back, behind William Gallas, Younes Kaboul, Steven Caulker and Jan Vertonghen.
Dawson was allowed to speak to QPR about a possible £9million transfer this summer, but he rejected the move and chose to fight for his place in the Tottenham starting XI.
With Vertonghen and Gallas likely to be rested for Wednesday night's game, Dawson has the chance to show Villas-Boas he was wrong to allow him to leave the club.
"He realises that he is not playing at the moment but things can change in football," assistant manager Freund said.
"The most important thing is how he reacts and he likes to play for Tottenham."
When you are a strong club like Tottenham there is a lot of opportunities. Andre said that from the beginning of the season.
"It is difficult for him because he is the captain of the club and he had an offer from QPR."
"We are always positive from that point and we talked about it openly. The players who are playing at Carlisle have to play well because we have a strong squad."
Like Dawson, midfielder Tom Huddlestone spent a large part of last season out through injury, but he is likely to get his first start under Villas-Boas on Wednesday night.
The Spurs boss tried to offload the former Derby player on loan to Stoke, but that move fell through.
Freund insists the 25-year-old is not surplus to requirements, however.
"Of course he has a future here," the German said.
"When you have a long-term injury - and I can say that, I had two cruciate ligament surgeries - it takes longer to come back."
"Tom was injured for a long time. Michael Dawson was for a long time injured."
"He is training well every day. To say he has had a long-term injury, he is looking really strong."
Villas-Boas is likely to make several changes given that his team travel to Manchester United on Saturday.
Gareth Bale, Mousa Dembele and Brad Friedel are likely to be left in London, meaning the likes of Andros Townsend, Adam Smith and Yago Falque could start.
Villas-Boas may also decide to field Carlo Cudicini in goal despite pledging to give £8million signing Hugo Lloris more game time.