The midfielder has scored four goals in his last four games for the Bucks, including a double in the 2-1 win over Bradford Park Avenue last time out.
Now that McHale has taken his opportunity, Cowan insists the challenge now is for him to sustain that level.
“It’s what you quantify as a great start,” Cowan said. “He started the first four games on the bench, so I don’t think he would have seen that as a great start. But ultimately he’s had his opportunity and he’s in the team and he’s doing well at the moment. He has to be aware that those performances have to stay at that level. When Brendon Daniels comes back, which won’t be too far away, he has to maintain. Otherwise he’ll be destined for the bench again.
“At the moment he’s performing to such a high level and if he maintains that standard then he’s doing great.”
When asked if he could be a fans favourite when they return to watch the team, Cowan added: “If he continues to play at the level he is then he will, if he doesn’t he won’t be. That’s how the fans work, they are very emotional about that side of it. If he continues to play as he is then absolutely he will be, but if the drops those standards that we expect of him then he won’t be.
“Long may his form continue.”