Chester FC boss Jon McCarthy says he is reserving his praise for Sam Hughes for when the teenage defender needs it most.
Hughes, 19, has been a star performer for the Blues in recent weeks at centre back and was impressive in an unfamiliar right back role during the 5-2 defeat at home to Lincoln City on Saturday .
The Wirral-born defender, a product of the club's youth academy, looks set for a bright future in the game and has been talked of in the same breath as Danny Collins who Chester helped turn from Cymru Alliance striker to Premier League defender 15 years ago.
Scouts have been alerted to the potential of Hughes, but McCarthy says it is when Hughes isn't at his best that he will be singing his praises.
Said the Blues boss: "He had probably his best game for us at right back. I think that was the best I have seen him this season.
"I'll be there for Sam Hughes as soon as one of you lot (the media) have a go at him or the fans do.
"I'm sure the board will want me to rave about Sam Hughes because we might get a little bit more money for him but I don't need to, he knows what I think of him.
"Brian Clough was good at that. He would hammer his players when everybody else was raving about them and when they had played the worst game in the world he would tell them that they were the best player in the world."
Hughes was on the fringes of the first team at the start of the season and spent time last year on loan at Evo-Stik Northern Premier League outfit Witton Albion. And it is that period that McCarthy pin-points as being the catalyst.
He said: "Sam Hughes will tell you that when he was on loan at Witton last year and things weren't going very well that is when we got hold of him and that is when we got his confidence up.
"Now he is flying, I'm ready to catch him if he falls."