Paul Cox firmly believes there’s plenty more to come from Jordon Crawford.
The young forward had a long wait for his opportunity in Kettering Town’s starting XI following his summer move to Latimer Park from Corby Town.
But he has now started the last three matches in the Vanarama National League North, turning in impressive displays while also scoring in the 3-2 home defeat to Boston United and last weekend’s 2-2 draw at AFC Telford United in which the Poppies again led 2-0 before conceding twice in the second half.
And Poppies boss Cox insists there is no-one happier than him to see Crawford taking his opportunity.
“Looking at the Crawford situation, it’s like a lot of our players,” Cox said.
“We have taken them from lower leagues or academies and sometimes players need a period of education and understanding. People shouldn’t forget that Jordon jumped up two levels to come here.
“The one thing I can say about him is that any time he hasn’t been included in the starting XI or the squad, he has worked even harder and I can’t talk about the boy highly enough.
“I still think there’s more to come from him. The little bit of inaction he had tells me he’s going through a mini pre-season now. He is going to get stronger and sharper.
“He still needs to improve in certain areas of the game. He knows that, we know that but he’s in a really good place. He’s enjoying his football and he is looking a threat.
“We are not in a business where patience is usually shown but Jordon is a prime example of patience paying off. He’s taken his opportunity and he is keeping some good players out of the side.
“I am over the moon for him because he’s a great kid to work with and his attitude and application have been absolutely unbelievable since he’s been at the club.
“I am probably the one with the biggest smile on his face because I know how hard he’s worked behind the scenes to gain this opportunity.”
The Poppies are now without a win in four matches in all competitions as they prepare for Saturday’s trip to Leamington.
And they are sweating on the fitness of on-loan striker Gerry McDonagh, who was forced off with an ankle injury during the draw with Telford last Saturday.
“Gerry went over on his ankle,” Cox said.
“He is getting treatment around the clock and we will probably know later in the week what the outcome will be. We have our fingers crossed, that’s all we can do at the moment.
“When he went off, we did become a bit disjointed. Him and Crawfs (Crawford) were playing well and looked a threat every time we went forward.
“In any team in any league, if you take a player who is playing well out of the unit then it gives you a setback. What the boys need to do is regroup and think a bit differently and learn to see games out.”