David Wagner is ready to keep working hard to ensure Joe Lolley reaches – and stays at – maximum fitness.
The 23-year-old made his seventh start and 13th appearance of the season, and scored his third goal, to help Huddersfield Town win 2-0 at Bolton Wanderers last Saturday.
All three of those goals, taking his overall Town tally to seven in 38 appearances (11 of them starts) have come since Wagner became head coach nine games ago.
It’s coming up to two years since Town landed Lolley in a £300,000 deal with non-league Kidderminster Harriers.
The exciting forward has suffered a string of niggly injuries during the transition to full-time football, and struggles to establish himself under previous manager Chris Powell, who loaned him to League I Scunthorpe United.
But with his background in sports science, Wagner seems the ideal boss to get the best from the former student.
“Sometimes certain managers see something in players that others don’t,” said Wagner, who is preparing for Saturday’s FA Cup third-round home tie against Reading.
“Joe is a very good talent, fast with good technique and good mobility. He is an interesting player and very open-minded.
“He is not yet where he can be and where I would like to have him.
“But we will try to help him to get better step by step.”
Lolley came on as a substitute in Town’s 1-0 home defeat by Reading in last season FA Cup third round.
He ended his Kidderminster career by scoring the winner in their 3-2 third-round replay win at Peterborough United.
Lolley believes Wagner’s arrival has been a big boost for him and the team.
“I felt a change was needed for me personally,” he recently explained.
“I believe the head coach will improve my fitness, and the style of play, keeping the ball on the ground and taking a lot of touches, suits me too.”