Keith Curle remains open to the possibility of letting Junior Morias leave the Cobblers before next month's deadline despite his return to the fold on Saturday.
The diminutive striker, transfer-listed at the end of last season, played only one of Northampton's six pre-season games although he did feature in a couple of friendlies with the youth team.
Yet to find another club, Morias was drafted into the squad that travelled to Port Vale on Saturday and played his first minutes of the season when replacing Matty Warburton with 12 minutes to go.
Curle has always left the door open for Morias should he be unable to find a move and it could well be that the 24-year-old still has an important role to play this season.
"He's never been out of my plans," said Curle. "He's a paid professional and I've got to say how he's conducted himself has been very good.
"He understands the situation that basically we've said if you're able to get more game-time elsewhere, we'll give you the opportunity to get your agent to find a club that's prepared to do that.
"If not, and while you're here, we expect everything you've got to be done in the correct manner and he's done that."
On the score sheet at Vale Park was Ryan Watson who, replacing the injured Alan McCormack in central midfield, grasped his opportunity with an impressive performance.
"The pleasing thing is that the conversations we had before we signed Ryan was that we identified his lack of goals," added Curle.
"One of the things he's been determined to do is improve his goal ratio. He's a goalscoring talent so it's pleasing to see he scores us the goal that gains us a point from the first opportunity he has.
"He arguably had the best chance of the second-half inside the six-yard box and that shows his willingness and determination to get in there."