Daniel Powell has hailed the influence of manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink on both himself personally as well as the Cobblers in general, with the midfielder promising fans he still has much more to offer this season after scoring his first goal for the club on Saturday.
Powell has yet to really find his feet at Sixfields since signing in the summer when he was snapped up by Justin Edinburgh on a free transfer following his release from Milton Keynes Dons, where he played over 250 games across nine years.
But the 26-year-old, who’s featured regularly under Hasselbaink, provided a glimpse of his undoubted potential on Saturday when he opened his goal account for the club in superb style.
Brilliantly collecting Regan Poole’s pass before taking a few paces forwards, Powell let fly from 30 yards and drilled a low shot in off the post, beating Gillingham goalkeeper Tomas Holy to hand Town a half-time lead at Priestfield.
Lee Martin pegged the visitors back in the second-half but Matt Grimes’ terrific late free-kick saw the visitors claim an important victory.
On his goal, Powell said: “I collected it well to be fair and I saw the goalkeeper go down quite slowly and when I saw it hit the post and go in, there was a sigh of relief!
“I’ve seen it back and to be fair, I’ve connected with it really well and I’m not sure the goalkeeper had much of a chance.
“I should have done better with an earlier shot which was easier and that was disappointing, but it was nice to see the second one go in.”
Powell admits his confidence has suffered this season, especially with Northampton struggling at the wrong end of the table, but with the help of Hasselbaink, as well as his first goal for the club, he’s confident of a much brighter future for both himself personally and the team in general.
“I think there’s still more to come from me,” he added.
He’s hard and firm. He’s not going to put an arm around you because he’s not that type of manager, he’ll just be straight with you and tell you to your face.
“Every player in the world gets affected by confidence and I think, as you’re losing games and near the bottom, there’s going to be a drop of confidence.
“But Jimmy has had a lot of belief in me and he’s had a big impact on me personally since he came in.
“He’s hard and firm. He’s not going to put an arm around you because he’s not that type of manager, he’ll just be straight with you and tell you to your face.
“If you can take it, you take it. But he’s been really good with me.
“Results didn’t go our way before but since Jimmy’s come in, he’s given us belief and confidence and he’s worked with everyone individually and I think the performances are getting better.”
Saturday’s win, coupled with the previous Tuesday’s draw at Rochdale, lifted the Cobblers up a place to 22nd in the Sky Bet League One table, still three points behind those outside the relegation zone.
“Saturday was a good win but it’s just one win and we’re still down there and we need to get more points, but it’s a platform for us to build on and I’d like to think it’s a turning point,” continued Powell.
“We’ve got four points from six and anyone would have taken that.
“It’s a really good group here. Everyone sticks together, everyone’s got each other’s backs and I think Jimmy coming in has been a big part of that.”