He said: "I saw Titus produce an unbelievable display at Arsenal. He was easily our best player.
"I had a look at him before the start of the season when I knew he was available because, basically, you are getting a player Sir Bobby Robson reckoned was worth £5m for nothing - and he's a decent judge.
"Yes, he committed a terrible howler against Man City. But individual mistakes happen.
"I've taken him aside and told him we all make them - but, please, not any more!
"That mistake rocked him and the whole team for a while, and it was the sort of thing that could easily have flattened you completely.
"But he rolled his sleeves up and got better as the game went on - and the same thing applied throughout the team.
"That is the sort of response you want in adversity.
"You don't want to find out how your players will react to a knock like that quite so soon after taking the job - but at least I know they are fighters.
"These are the sort of games you target.
"And while it is far too early in the season for either team to say winning this one is the be-all and end-all, a victory would be a big boost."