Thomas Tuchel admitted Timo Werner struggled on his return to the starting line-up for Chelsea against Manchester United.
The visitors, with Michael Carrick in caretaker charge, were under pressure for much of the game but left with a point after securing a 1-1 draw.
And Werner, back after a recent hamstring injury, had a frustrating time up front.
Blues boss Tuchel admitted the striker lacked sharpness because of his recent spell out and insisted that was natural.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Tuchel said: “I think we still see he hasn’t played for a long time.
“Can we expect that he is on the absolute peak? No, we cannot. It’s what we expect at this moment.
“He looked very sharp in training and scored many goals in the last two training sessions. That’s why I went with my gut and put him on the pitch and hoped that he could hurt the two central defenders. We thought he could be the decisive threat in the middle.
“It was not easy for him today and you can see he lacks some games.”
Tuchel told Chelsea’s players he was pleased with their performance despite the dropped points.
He said: “We are disappointed but we have no regrets.
“This can happen in football and we know it. I’ve told the team I’m happy with the performance and the way we played.”
“I am absolutely happy with what the players put in. We created chances and had a huge amount of shots.”