Russell Martin admits he is Callum Brittain's biggest fan, and he is finally beginning to get the recognition he deserves.
The 21-year-old has been one of Dons' most consistent performers under the new manager. Playing in a more orthodox right-back role, Brittain's creativity has been reigned in somewhat recently, but he has been let off the lead in the last few weeks as the team feels more at home playing Martins' new system.
He was excellent at the Pirelli Stadium on Tuesday night, both defensively astute as well as virulent on the front foot despite Dons' 1-0 defeat to Burton Albion.
And while he was somewhat critical of his own performance, saying: "It could have been better. All in all I think I created a few good chances but we didn't score at the end of the day, so it can always get better," he still drew praise from his manager.
"He has been one of our best players since I took over – you won't find a bigger fan of Callum Brittain than me," said Martin. "He's got everything to be a top, top player and people don't appreciate him as much as they should do."
Paul Tisdale was critical of Brittain at times, demanding more consistency at both ends of the field from the defender, but Martin believes Brittain needs nurturing and is eager to learn.
He continued: "When I first came here, I was told he didn't have the right attitude and wasn't consistent enough. I think he just needed a bit of belief in himself and I hope we've given him that.
"He's really brave on the ball, he takes possession for us, he gets us out of tight situations and he has been excellent. He was excellent on Saturday, looked a bit tired towards the end tonight, but he is a brilliant player. I've been really demanding of him because I know what he is capable of. He does things and makes them look easy, he's a really talented boy.
"He's got a brilliant attitude and a desire to improve. He comes in, he watches his clips, and wants to learn and get better. We've got a really top player at this level and we need to make sure we keep developing him. And it's the same for the rest of the team too, but he has been a really consistent performer for me and hopefully it will continue."