Robbie Neilson believes Conor McGrandles is ready to impress at MK Dons but has urged fans to be patient with him.
Having joined in the summer from Norwich, McGrandles had struggled to break into the first team, despite being signed as a development player by the manager.
But after injury to skipper Alex Gilbey recently, McGrandles has played in each of Dons' last seven games and impressed in the 2-2 draw with Scunthorpe.
Neilson, who worked with the 22-year-old at Falkirk previously, said McGrandles is still finding his feet in the team, but is beginning to show what he was signed for.
"I worked with Conor at Falkirk when he was younger, and this is the Conor I know," said the manager. "He was out for a year with a double leg break and he found it really hard to get going again at Norwich. He came here and was struggling with his fitness and you're starting to see a player who will be a huge asset to us. He's a young kid, he's got his fitness back and he's getting his confidence back too.
"Aidan Nesbitt is the same, as is Robbie Muirhead - we forget they're young kids. They're coming to a place after they've had difficult periods, ups and downs. They've got huge potential and they're desperate to do well for the club."
The trio of young Scots have been used fleetingly since arriving at Stadium MK - Muirhead has been involved in just four squads since September - and Neilson has urged fans to be patient with them, as they would with any academy product.
He said: "Like anyone you bring into a club, there's an expectation. When you bring someone up from the academy, you get some leeway because people know you're still young.
"But when you bring them in from outside, you want to see them scoring straight away. And they won't do that because they're young kids learning the game."