Jurgen Klopp has defended his decision to keep Fabinho out of his Liverpool team but admits it is "not nice" to tell him he will not be playing.
Fabinho has only once been in the matchday squad for a Premier League game since his reported £39million move from Monaco.
Klopp's exclusion of the Brazil international from his plans has raised eyebrows, particularly given the injuries to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and defender Dejan Lovren.
However, the Liverpool manager insists it is part of a long-term plan to help Fabinho acclimatise to his plans.
He told a news conference: "I don't like to compare players, but I think we had similar questions about Robbo [Andrew Robertson], about Oxlade. Did Sadio [Mane] play from the beginning? I'm not sure.
"It's absolutely no problem. It's not that I like to say Fabinho is full of energy and I tell him he's not involved. It's not nice.
"He came from another league, a completely different system and we have a good team together so that takes time, but the plan is still he will make us better so, from my point of view, it's all fine.
"I know the situation is not like people expected. I can't change that."
Whether or not Fabinho gets his chance, Klopp does hope to have Lovren and Adam Lallana fit again soon as Liverpool prepare for a packed run of fixtures.
Centre-back Lovren has been struggling with a stomach problem, while Lallana suffered a groin injury that forced him to withdraw from the England squad this month.
"The most difficult [thing] is when you don't have a lot of players," said Klopp.
"I really hope he [Lovren] is back as soon as possible. When Adam is back, we have the squad together, and that will be the first time.
"Adam, it's not too serious but he's not available for the weekend and maybe not next week.
"It feels like we have 500 games in the next seven weeks. I hope I have them all fit, and I don't have to make a difficult decision."
Liverpool face Tottenham on Saturday looking to keep up their 100 per cent record in this season's Premier League.
Club great Graeme Souness recently claimed this team is the best he has seen since their last title-winning side of 1990, but Klopp is wary of such praise putting too much pressure on his players.
"The problem legends sometimes have is they want to say something positive and put immediate pressure on us. Thank you, Graeme!" He said.
"I don't know the team from 1990, I know Germany were the World Cup winners that year. We need to be really good because all the other teams are so good.
"Football changed a lot in the last 30 years, shirts got tighter and the game got quicker, so you can't compare the teams, really. We have to be as good as possible to reach the highest for us. I don't know what that is."