Cobblers fans are yet to see the best of new midfielder Joe Powell, who admitted his debut against Morecambe at the weekend was something of an eye-opener.
The 20-year-old only signed on loan from Premier League West Ham United last Monday but he was in from the off against the Shrimps on Saturday, playing alongside fellow new recruit Timi Elsnik in midfield.
But while Derby loannee Elsnik impressed and scored Town’s opening goal in the first-half, Powell took a little longer to adjust to the demands of League Two football during a more subdued display before he was replaced by Morgan Roberts with 14 minutes to go.
The hustle and bustle of League Two represented significant change for Powell, who has only had experience playing for West Ham’s youth sides, in addition to a solitary EFL Cup appearance for the first-team earlier this season.
“The physicality is different and the physical side of the game is much greater,” he admitted. “You’ve got to run a lot more and you’ve got to compete a lot more.
“The ball’s in the air more of the time and you’ve got to try and get your head on a lot of high balls and the pitches are different – it’s harder to get the ball down.
sI feel I’ve gelled with the rest of the group and now I’ve got to try and get on the ball and make things happen for the team.
“In terms of defensively, you have to keep grafting and we’re doing that to try and get points for the team but it’s not like that with the U23s so it’s more competitive and more demanding.”
Elsnik’s 22nd minute opener was cancelled out by Richard Bennett in the second-half as Cobblers once again failed to hold onto a lead at home.
“You always go out expecting to get three points so we’re all disappointed with the result and I’m gutted not to have got a goal or an assist as well,” added Powell.
“But we got a point and I look to the next game now and have a much better performance. I feel I’ve gelled with the rest of the group and now I’ve got to try and get on the ball and make things happen for the team.
“As I said when I first came in, my aim is to get goals and assists and help the team climb the table so hopefully next week I’ll get off the mark.”
Powell lasted 76 minutes against Morecambe, but he denied he was taken off due to fatigue, adding: “I was feeling fine to be honest.
“Sometimes the manager has to try and change things because everyone wants three points so you have to respect the decisions that are made. You’re always hoping the team can go on and get three points but it wasn’t to be.”