TOWN manager Lee Clark has thrown out a challenge to his returning wingman Danny Cadamarteri.
Clark is expecting international clearance to be given for Cadamarteri to be included in the squad for Saturday’s trip to Exeter City.
And, having snapped up the 31-year-old free agent following his release by Dundee United, Clark wants Cads to make an immediate impact in what is his second spell at the club.
“I am delighted Danny is back among our ranks and now the ball is in his court – it’s up to him to prove his worth and force his way into the team,” said Clark.
“I didn’t want Danny to leave in the first place, but that is all water under the bridge now and we are ready to get him involved in the first team.
“While he was with me during his first stint at the club he was fantastic to have around and (on the pitch) he possesses fantastic pace and is an excellent finisher.”
Cadamarteri was training with the senior squad today after completing his transfer-window deal – he was unavailable for Tuesday’s 2-0 League I win over Carlisle at the Galpharm – and after the trip to Devon he’ll have his sights firmly fixed on the home tie with Carlisle in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy next Tuesday.
Clark, meanwhile, has praised two of his most experienced players for their contribution in extending the unbeaten league run of 2011 to six matches – goalkeeper Ian Bennett and fit-again left-back Gary Naysmith.
“Gary has played in four league games for us this season and we haven’t conceded in any of them,” said Clark.
“He is a very composed defender and you wouldn’t have known by his performance (on Tuesday) that he had been out for a couple of months.”
On Bennett, Clark focused on three outstanding saves to keep Town in the match before they went on to beat Carlisle with Gary Roberts’ double.
“The one from Francois Zoko was an excellent save – the lad couldn’t have hit the ball any sweeter and Benno displayed fantastic reactions to tip the ball over,” explained the boss.
“Ian has never let us down this season and I think he is a great role model for Alex Smithies, who I believe can learn from the way Ian handles himself.”
Incidentally, Town’s victory against Carlisle was their 1,000th home success in the league. They have 322 wins in the top flight since joining the Football League in 1910 and have added 352 in the second tier, now known as the Championship.
Town have 84 home wins against their name in the lowest division (they were promoted as Fourth Division champions in 1979-80) and Tuesday’s was their 242nd at home in Division III (now known as League I.
Their first home league win was 3-2 against Leeds City in September 1910.