Crewe teenager Powell is 'growing up', says Dario Gradi
Teenage midfielder Nick Powell is "growing up" and coming to terms with the demands of senior football, according to Crewe manager Dario Gradi.
Powell netted a stunning individual goal, his first as a professional, to open the scoring in a 3-1 win for the Alex at AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.
"I think he's growing up," Gradi told BBC Radio Stoke. "He's different to what he was at the end of last season.
"He's played well in the last few games and really deserves a goal."
The 17-year-old was a peripheral figure in the first-team squad last season, making 17 substitute appearances in League Two and starting just one game in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
A red card in the 2-0 defeat at Shrewsbury on 20 August stunted Powell's progress this season, but he has started the last four games and made his first goalscoring contribution against the Football League newcomers on Saturday.
Another of Crewe's scorers at Wimbledon, defender Adam Dugdale, told BBC Radio Stoke: "He's frustrating at times but he can come up with that piece of magic.
"I've known him for over 12 months and he is growing up, but he's got to keep his feet on the floor.
"If he keeps doing things like that, I'm sure he's got a big future in the game."