Keith Curle has praised midfielder Paul Anderson for the positive impact he's had on the Cobblers since signing for the club as a free transfer earlier in the season.
The 31-year-old has made 11 appearances since re-joining the club on a short-term contract in October, establishing himself as a regular member of Town's midfield trio.
"Paul's got a lot of ability," said Curle. "He's a senior player in the changing room but what's impressed me is his desire and hunger to perform during games.
"His fitness levels could be better and if he had a pre-season with us and more game-time before coming here, he would have had even more detailed performances.
"But he's on an upward curve with his performances and his fitness and contribution to games.
"He came in and had two or three weeks to get to know us and see how we work and to fit into the environment.
"I said to him when he joined that he will get game-time with me if he's able to perform how I want him to perform."
Anderson himself admitted he was a little surprised to be given an opportunity so soon after signing, but with injuries to key midfielders, a door opened for him in a central role and he hasn't looked back since.
He will now be hoping to extend his contract until the end of the season.
"Sometimes, when a player comes in and they hit the ground running, you just let him go and play and I think that's what we've given him," Curle added.
"We've given him a licence to go and play and we know, physically and fitness-wise, the more games he plays, the fitter and stronger he will get and the more impact he'll have.
"He's earned his starting position and he's doing well."