Adam Murray believes that Joe Fitzpatrick should be looking forward to a bright future in the Football League - but the midfielder has to put the groundwork in to get there.
The 19-year-old made his Boston United debut in New Year’s Day’s 2-1 win at Gainsborough Trinity.
And after impressing with a controlled performance, Murray was quick to point out that he already wants more from the teenager.
He said: “I still believe he will get to the Football League and have a very good career, but how quickly is down to how much he wants it and how hard he works for it.
“The thing with Joe is that he needs to understand he shouldn’t be at this level.
“He should be playing league football.
“He’s an excellent talent, but mentally we need to get him switched on to what he could achieve and be. It’s not too late.”
Fitzpatrick made the move from National League North rivals AFC Telford United and has also played against Boston for Worcester City this season.
Murray knows the midfielder well having managed him at Mansfield Town, and knows he has a youngster who he can rely on.
Murray added: “I gave him his debut at 17, and in his first start against Portsmouth we had a man sent off after two minutes, and he had to play centre half against Matt Tubbs.
“He was outstanding.”
But despite knowing all about Fitzpatrick’s talent, the manager now expects him to raise his standards on the pitch.
“He’s still a young lad, he’s got lots to learn, but at this level he should be dominating games day-in, day-out,” Murray continued.
“He’s one of those players, he’s not going to be box-to-box, winning tackles left, right and centre.
“But he will organise and put himself in spaces where he feels he can control the game.
“His distribution is fantastic and the more game time he gets and fitness he gets - he needs to get fitter - he’ll be a very influential player.”