Liam Mandeville must realise he could be playing week in, week out for Doncaster Rovers according to Darren Ferguson.
The Rovers boss is a big admirer of the quality of the young forward but has questioned his mentality on several occasions.
The spotlight may fall on Mandeville more regularly in the coming weeks with Andy Williams joining Alfie May and Alex Kiwomya on the sidelines.
And Ferguson says if Rovers are to get the best out of the 20-year-old on a consistent basis then the striker must accept himself that he can be a key player for the club.
“I think Liam has got all the tools,” Ferguson told The Star. “But the one thing I think that has been missing from him is the mentality to want to be out there every week.
“Maybe he needs to understand that he’s in a position now where he can do that. Last season he showed it.
“But there has been a bit of disappointment for me that he’s done well in one game and then maybe switched off in the next one.
“He needs to be consistent to a level that I know he can play at.
“If he is, then we’ve got a really good player on our hands.
“He knows what I think of him as a player. He just needs the consistency.”
Mandeville has scored two goals in 17 appearances so far this season, eight of those coming off the bench.
He found himself out of the squad entirely for last month’s trip to Bury after Ferguson did not like his reaction to being dropped from the starting XI.
Rather than being angry, Mandeville was far too accepting of the decision which his manager did not appreciate.
“He was too comfortable with it and I didn’t want that,” Ferguson said.
“I would rather have someone knocking my door down.
“I know Liam is young but I’ve got other young players like Joe Wright who was literally knocking my door down last season when he was left out.
“Liam took it a bit too nicely for me. He knows and we’ve dealt with it.
“It’s not something I’ll see again from him.
“The other night at Wigan he wasn’t on the bench and he was clearly very unhappy so you’d think it’s worked.
“He’s got a lot of ability. He’s not got through the puppy stage and is more of a man.”
Mandeville scored ten goals during the first half of last season before injuries blighted his campaign.