Tuesday’s match-winner Joe Powell has earned praise from both manager Keith Curle and team-mate David Buchanan for his attitude off the pitch, as well as his quality on it, after his stunning strike against Newport County.
The 20-year-old midfielder has been in and out of the side since joining from West Ham United in January but he reminded Curle and Town supporters of his undoubted talent when, on as a sub, he unleashed a sensational volley that arrowed into the top corner 88 minutes into Tuesday’s game.
He’ll be hoping that goal, which proved to be the winner, earns him a place back in the starting line-up when the Cobblers continue their unlikely play-off charge at Grimsby Town on Saturday.
Of the nine games Northampton have played since Powell joined the club, he’s started four and made a further two substitute appearances.
“The one thing Joe Powell doesn’t need is confidence,” said Curle. “He’s got confidence and he’s got belief but what he’s striving for is opportunities.
“Some of the players that aren’t in the team at the moment have got quality and when they get opportunities, they have to take them.
He’s a young lad from West Ham learning his way and he’s come in, got his head down and integrated with the group fantastically well.David Buchanan
“On Tuesday, Joe did that. But it’s not just him, it’s all the players that haven’t been featuring in the squad – their attention to detail, their willingness to stay involved and be part of the environment we’re creating is excellent.”
Defender Buchanan gets to watch Powell first-hand in training and he’s been impressed by the youngster’s determination to succeed and develop while on loan at Northampton.
“I’m not sure the goal deserved to be in that game because it was different class but he’s got that technique,” Buchanan said.
“He’s a young lad from West Ham learning his way and he’s come in, got his head down and integrated with the group fantastically well.
“He’s a great character and I’m delighted for him. He’s been in and out of the team but he’s stayed patient and that’s credit to the squad because it’s the same for everyone who isn’t playing.”