Crewe Alexandra Manager Dario Gradi has challenged Nick Powell to add goals to his game.
The youngster was recently sent off at Shrewsbury Town but will be in contention for a place in the Alex squad on Saturday against Barnet after serving a three-match ban.
And the Alex manager is now keen to get more from the England youth international’s undoubted ability by adding goals to his game.
“I keep chipping away at Nick about becoming a good player before he becomes a great player, and I think slowly he is begging to accept that his future will depend on him scoring goals,” Gradi told www.crewealex.net.
“We did a lot of shooting practice earlier in the week and Nick used to try outrageous tricks and flicks, I would say to him that I don’t think you are going to score like that and you need to score goals.”
“He is practicing properly now instead of the outrageous attempts, and is actually trying to put the ball in the back of the net, which he has got the ability to do because he has done it in the youth team anyway. With Nick it seems to be a mindset.”
Meanwhile Powell’s, Crewe team-mates Adam Dugdale has vowed to prove the boo-boys wrong.
The 23-year-old defender, now in his second spell at the club has come in for criticism from fans in recent weeks with Alex struggling to pick up points in League Two.
However he turned in his best performance in an Alex shirt last weekend during the 3-1 win over Oxford United.
Now he is focused on keeping his place as the Railwaymen prepare to entertain Barnet on Saturday
And he revealed the fear of dropping out of the full-time game is his main motivation.
“Everyone is entitled to an opinion and if people are doubting me it only drives me on to prove them wrong,” Dugdale told the Crewe Chronicle.
“I’ve already done that a lot in my career. People don’t realise how tough it is in non-league.
“You have no contract and you can go from one club to the next. You train at night and try to earn some money in the day.”
“I don’t want to go back to that. I want to stay full-time and hopefully I can keep improving to make sure that happens.
“Having the security of a 12-month contract is massive to me, but I’ve never doubted myself. I’m happy Dario believes in me and is prepared to stick with me.”
Dugdale, came through the ranks at the clubs Academy but was released in 2007 after one year as a professional. He plied his trade at Barrow, Droylsden, Southport and Telford before his return to the professional game last October and is confident he has more to offer.
“There’s more to come. I still don’t feel I’ve reached my full potential. I’m still finding my feet in matches a little bit but I’m still only 23.”
“If I keep listening and getting coached by the best there is loads more to come from me.”