Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has called for everybody to show patience as teenager Joe Iaciofano continues his development as a striker.
The 18-year-old has been starring on loan at Chesham United in the Vanarama National League South, and last weekend scored a composed hat-trick as Hayes & Yeading United were swept aside in the FA Trophy.
That took Iaciofano’s tally for the non-League side to seven goals in eight appearances, and has led to calls from some supporters for the youngster to be given a chance at Sixfields, with the Cobblers hardly prolific in front of goal this season.
Hasselbaink says he has been impressed by the Cobblers Academy product, who only signed his first professional contract in the summer.
The Town boss knows he has a goalscoring talent on his hands, and when his loan was extended at Chesham last week a 24-hour recall option was put in place.
But for now the Cobblers manager says is happy for the player to continue to develop playing against men in non-League football, while still training under his watchful eye every day at Moulton College.
“I am delighted with Joe, and he is doing amazing. We have stepped it up for him and he is doing really well,” said Hasselbaink.
“We see him every day, he trains with us so we are in control, and he has a smile on his face.
“Obviously, his end game is that he wants to do it for Northampton Town, but at the moment he is doing a good job on loan.”
Hasselbaink then went on to explain exactly why the player is out on loan, and not challenging the likes of Chris Long, Marc Richards and Alex Revell - who have scored just five goals between them all season - for a first team start.
And it is nothing to do with the player’s finishing ability.
“Joe is the kind of player, that if you provide him with chances, then he knows where the back of the net is,” said the former Chelsea, Leeds United and Holland striker.
“But getting there he needs to become better, in overall play he needs to improve significantly, and that is why we have sent him on loan.”
With the Cobblers currently in a struggle at the wrong end of Sky Bet League One, they are not dominating many games in terms of possession, and that is something that works against Iaciofano, whose Town first team action this season has been restricted to a late substitute appearance in the Checkatrade Trophy clash with Cambridge United in August.
If you are a very dominant team and you have got 90 per cent of the ball and play the whole time in the final third of the opposition, then Joe is your man because he will scoreCobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
“If you are a very dominant team and you have got 90 per cent of the ball and play the whole time in the final third of the opposition, then Joe is your man because he will score,” said Hasselbaink.
“But if you play far away from the goal, and you need players to hold up the ball, then he struggles a little bit.
“That is his problem at the moment, that is where he needs to improve, so has two options of playing.
“But he is doing really well, he is being important for his loan team, and he is feeling good about himself and has a smile on his face.”