ANDY BOOTH today revealed his frustration at sitting out the next stage of Town's promotion odyssey but backed his clubmates to bag three vital points.
The 30-year-old frontman misses his first match in 13 over the past three months through suspension when Scunthorpe visit the McAlpine on Saturday.
While he will be straight back into the reckoning when Town visit Northampton next Tuesday - Pawel Abbott misses the next three games following his straight-red dismissal at Leyton Orient - Booth will be an anxious observer as Peter Jackson's side bid to take a major step towards going up in the Quid-a-Kid fixture.
"It's really disappointing for Pav and myself to be missing out this weekend, but I'm sure the lads will produce the goods," said Booth, who is just two short of 100 goals in Town colours.
"It's particularly galling after we made a couple of mistakes which proved costly at Kidderminster, because it would have been nice to have bounced straight back in the home game, but we've just got to learn from what's happened and start again."
Teenage frontman John McAliskey was rested from today's Reserves' encounter with Preston at the McAlpine (2.00) in a clear indication he will take Booth's place against lowly Scunthorpe.
Loan man Gary Harkins, who is also expected to make a first League start against the Iron, completes his Pontin's Holidays League suspension with today's game.
"Losing on Monday was a setback, but we have a tremendous record since Christmas and all the chasing pack would happily swap places with us if they were given the chance," added Booth.
"We've got a game in hand and a points advantage, so if we can continue with our tremendous home form this Saturday it's going to make it all the harder for those clubs behind to make up ground with games running out.
"I think it's going to be an exciting run-in and it could well go all the way to the wire, but it's in our own hands to get the job done and the lads are confident we will."
On McAliskey's absence from the Reserves, manager Jackson explained: "We just can't risk Macca getting injured.
"He played in the Reserves at Burnley last week and then did really well when he went on for half an hour on Monday, so we need to make sure he's absolutely right for this Saturday against Scunthorpe.
"We can't wait for it to come around. We have had the critics on our backs since we lost at Kidderminster but it was a hiccup in an otherwise tremendous run.
"We've bounced back before and we will do it again - you can be sure of that."