Roy Keane has warned Sunderland cannot expect Kenwyne Jones to be a one-man miracle worker.
However, he insists his team-mates have to provide him with the right kind of service.
Jones missed the start of the season with a knee injury.
After four months out, he was eased back into action with substitute appearances against Newcastle and Stoke last week before making his first start of the campaign in Sunderland’s 5-0 mauling at Chelsea on Saturday.
Keane knows the 24-year-old still has some way to go to build up his match fitness, but he is confident the frontman will soon rediscover the form which led Chelsea skipper John Terry to admit Jones was his toughest opponent last season.
Keane said: “As much as last year he produced miracles, we cannot rely on one player.
“He was outstanding for us last season in a team which was not really giving him great service, particularly from wide positions.
“We were under the cosh in a lot of games, but I thought he was also one of our best players from a defensive point of view.
“He has a great chance in terms of potential, but then I think I have the potential to be a very good manager.
“Potential is one thing, fulfilling it is different.
“It is up to us and the players around Kenwyne to help him along the way, because we all believe he has a fantastic career ahead of him at Sunderland.
“Over the next few weeks and months, as he gets stronger after coming back from this injury, he will certainly cause a lot of defences problems.”
Jones cost Sunderland £6m when he joined the club from Southampton last summer and at the time there were raised eyebrows at the size of the fee.
However, Jones’ performances justified his price tag – and by the end of the campaign some observers were drawing parallels between him and Chelsea's powerhouse striker Didier Drogba, a comparison Keane feels is a little unfair.
He added: “To compare him to the Drogbas of this world is, I think, a little bit unfair because Drogba has played a lot more games, he is older and he is more experienced and has played more international games.
“People who work closely with Kenwyne think he has all the attributes to be a top, top centre-forward.
“He has come back from injury, and he has that freshness about him which players who have been out for a while have.”