Dinanga came off the bench to turn Saturday’s National North clash at Darlington on its head, striking three times as AFC Telford came from 2-0 down to win 3-2.
The former Burton man has struggled to establish himself in the starting line-up this season, but now has four goals in his last two games.
“Marcus has scored a hat-trick but his performance was excellent,” said boss Gavin Cowan.
“He was reliable in possession, he was full of hard work, chasing back on the full-backs, and he deserved his three goals.
“Marcus is a great character, really, really funny, and the lads love him. But he’s quite complex when it comes to football, so there has to be an element of man-management with him.
“If he can wake up, smell the coffee and realise the talent he’s got then hopefully he can start to fulfil that.
“I think he can do that, he’s aware of that. He needs to fulfil his potential, but that’s only going to come from him.”
AFC Telford United’s Marcus Dinanga may have claimed the match ball for a match-winning hat-trick in a 3-2 victory against Darlington on Saturday, but his manager Gavin Cowan has urged the striker to use it as a springboard towards fulfilling his potential:
Dinanga returned to the club in January of this year, signing an 18-month deal after leaving EFL side Burton Albion, and after a sparkling 2017/18 season, when he scored over 20 goals for the Bucks on loan. His goals return has been disappointing, but as Cowan explained:
“Marcus is a great character, really, really funny, and the lads love him, but he’s quite complex when it comes to football, so there has to be an element of man-management with him.
If he can wake up, smell the coffee and realise the talent he’s got then hopefully he can start to fulfil that. I think he can do that, he’s aware of that, he needs to fulfil his potential, but that’s only going to come from him.”
Dinanga was handed a rare start in the FA Trophy victory at Guiseley, but began Saturday’s game on the substitutes bench, with Matty Stenson preferred in front of him for a starting berth. With the Bucks 2-0 down at half-time, Dinanga replaced an out-of-sorts Stenson and delivered a finishing masterclass, scoring with his first touch and then bringing the scores level before notching the game clinching goal in the sixth minute of injury time, delighting Cowan:
“Last week and today were a really good step forward for him; it’s great for him, last week he did OK, he got his goal and he was probably disappointed to miss out today, but he’s managed to ram those words down my throat by getting three goals, so that was a very welcome two fingers stuck up to me.”
That 47th minute goal set the Bucks ball rolling, as Cowan felt it could, although he was keen to stress it was no one-man show:
“I think it was probably the last thing I said to them at half-time, to give them a bit of motivation, which was that the next goal would change the game. We managed to stay in it, which we did through the performances of Ellis Deeney and Zak Lilly, who I thought were absolutely immense today.”