Crawley Town head coach Gabriele Cioffi believes Reece Grego-Cox is well on the way to becoming a very good striker.
So far the former QPR youth player has made only nine league starts for Crawley, but he has played a part in 25 matches.
The Republic of Ireland under-21 international last week was nominated for, but missed out on, his country’s Young Player of the Year Award.
The 22-year-old has started the past five matches for Reds but has yet to score a goal.
Cioffi said: “Reece is a good player: he is a fighter, he is a runner and he has heart which is what we need now.
“More than skills now we need heart to achieve a safe position as soon as we can.
“We need heart to play how I want to play; so the players who have no heart have no part in my project.
“He shows he wants to be here, he plays not just for himself but for the squad.
“He has to show everyone he wants to keep the starting shirt stuck on his back.”
Middlesbrough winger to choose Sunderland over Arsenal - League 1 and League 2 latest news
Indian Premier League: Tricky opening for Sussex pair Archer and Khan
Sussex football hotshots: Who are the top scorers this season?
Taste of the Terrace: Lincoln City game showed Crawley Town’s squad is not good enough
Cioffi would like his young star to start getting on the scoresheet but for now is happy with his contributions to the team.
“He’s a second striker, with good performance, good runner and good knowledge of the game.
“What he needs to transfer his performance from good to very good are goals.
“This has to come naturally; I think he’s almost there until then I’m happy with him performing with heart, fighting and supporting.”
Cioffi believes Grego-Cox is forming a good partnership up front with fellow striker Ollie Palmer.
He said: “There is a good feeling between the two which they want to cement; I want players up front who are connected, if not they are two different identities.”