Crawley Town interim manager Dean Saunders believes new signing Lee Fowler has "wasted his talent" over the course of his career.
The midfielder, 31, joined on loan from Nuneaton on Friday and scored the winner on his debut against Preston.
"Lee is nowhere near fit, but he has come on and shown he is more talented than anybody in this league.
"I'll try and put him on the straight and narrow," former Doncaster and Wolves boss Saunders told BBC Surrey.
"I've had him before and he makes the game look easy. He's got to get himself fit."
Fowler made his Football League debut for Coventry, but has since had a nomadic career including spells at Huddersfield, Burton Albion, numerous non-league sides and The New Saints and Cefn Druids in the League of Wales.
"He's 31 and has wasted his talent up until now," Saunders added.
"He should be playing at least in the Championship. He is a really good footballer and can do things other people can't.
"He has just not used his talent like he should."
Fowler joined Crawley on a 93-day loan deal and is grateful for the opportunity to play in the Football League again.
"It surprised a lot of people, including myself, but it was one I had to grab with two hands. I would have run down here," Fowler told BBC Surrey.
"It is League One football and I want to finish on a high. I don't want to be filtering out in the Ryman League picking up £50 or £100 a week - even though I love football.
"I think I had too much too young as a kid. The talent has never changed but everyone has issues. It's up to me how I deal with them and Dean helps me with them.
"Dean believes in me and gives me the platform to go on and succeed."