Steve Bruce says Matty Fryatt is playing his way towards a new Hull City contract after coming through a testing spell.
The 28-year-old striker has endured a torrid time with injury, with an Achilles problem having kept him out of action for eight months.
Having slipped down the pecking order at the KC Stadium, Fryatt was allowed to spend two months on loan at Sky Bet Championship outfit Sheffield Wednesday early in the 2013/14 campaign.
He returned from that spell buoyed by a return to goal-scoring form and has been offered an opportunity to catch the eye at his parent club.
The January arrivals of Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic mean he continues to fill back-up duties in the Premier League, but finding the target in an FA Cup quarter-final victory over Sunderland on Sunday has offered a timely reminder to Bruce of his worth.
The Tigers boss told the Hull Daily Mail: "I love his attitude. It has been terrific since the day I met him.
"To come back from an injury like the one he had last year and score against Sunderland, well I think he will remember that for a very long time.
"He is a clever enough boy to know we have (Sone) Aluko and (Yannick) Sagbo plus the two new signings, but when he is fit like that, he is a very good player for us.
"We don't want to lose him. He's proven to be an important player in the cup, that's for sure. He has three goals.
"The loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday this season sharpened him up. I hadn't seen a lot of Matty Fryatt before that, but I have seen enough now to understand why he is so popular."
Fryatt's current deal is due to expire at the end of the season, but Bruce has confirmed that fresh terms will be discussed at some stage.
He added: "Matty has done fantastically well. I now realise what a good player he is. I missed him last season because he got injured in my first game.
"Everyone knows what a horrible injury he got. He then came back and did everything to get back fit. He is also doing everything to get himself a new contract.
"On that performance and the same with the last round, Matty has proved what a good player he is and, certainly, I will be sitting down with him."