CUP romance brought out the best in David Ngog – and Dougie Freedman reckons there could still be more to come from his enigmatic striker.
The Frenchman continued his recent revival with a stunning strike in Saturday’s 2-1 FA Cup win over Blackpool, which booked a fourth round date with Cardiff City at the Reebok Stadium on the weekend of January 25 and 26.
It was Ngog’s second goal in as many games after more than a month on the sidelines, during which he has been heavily linked with a move away from the Reebok.
The current financial situation at the club almost certainly means that Freedman is living on borrowed time with the former Liverpool star but the Wanderers boss feels the 24-year-old could still get goals with the right approach.
“David has got to feel that trust and love,” he said. “Maybe it is just starting to come back and he understands that when it is your turn, you have got to go and perform anyway you can.
“He is not difficult to manage. He is a very nice guy. He is a wonderful talent. But David needs that bit of consistency.”
Ngog had scored just once this season before back-to-back goals against Middlesbrough and Blackpool, mirroring a less-than-impressive record since his £4million arrival from Anfield two-and-a-half years ago.
There have been occasional flashes of his talent, most notably towards the end of last season, and Freedman would like to see the young striker returning to that kind of form.
“He works hard every day, so when you see him performing like that, you want more from him,” Freedman said.
“When I first came here last year I had to make sure he was up to a decent standard of speed and fitness. Towards the end of the season when it really mattered, he believed in himself and he believed in me. I believed in him and away he went.
“However, I have got to think about a team of 30 players. I can't squeeze 30 into 11, the sums don't work.”