Phil Parkinson has lavished praise on James Hanson’s League One performances and admitted: There aren’t many like him.

The lanky targetman has earned plaudits from his boss for an impressive start to the season, which has included four goals.

Hanson shot the late winner against Shrewsbury last week after adapting to a different role when Nahki Wells limped out of action with his ankle injury.

He was encouraged to stay further forward and look to copy the Bermudian’s runs – and his efforts won a glowing endorsement from Parkinson.

“I thought he led the charge for us,” said the City boss. “He knew what to do to try and stretch the pitch for us and you can see he’s getting that football knowledge from playing a lot.

“James has got a lot of experience now and he’s showing that. The reaction from everyone when he got his goal showed that they all appreciated his hard work.”

Hanson’s four-year contract expires at the end of the season and joint-chairman Mark Lawn confirmed that City have started “tentative negotiations” with his representative.

He is a key part of the team’s plans – at both ends of the pitch – and the club could have a fight on their hands to keep him.

Parkinson added: “There are not many James Hanson-type players around who are 6ft 3in and still very mobile.

“He is an outstanding athlete and can cover the ground. He’s got good pace as well, and that’s why he is a difficult player to deal with.

“Obviously defenders are happier coping with a big man who is static. But a big man with mobility like James can be very hard to stop.”