ANDY HOLDSWORTH expects to find out in the next 24 hours if he's made the final Football League squad.
Town's talented right-back was chosen in manager Peter Taylor's initial 33-man Under 21 squad for a match against the Italian League at Hull's KC Stadium a fortnight tomorrow.
It's a first representative selection for Holdsworth and, should he make the 16-player cut, it will be a big boost following the fifth booking of the season he collected in Friday's 2-1 defeat at Tranmere Rovers, meaning he's suspended against high-riding Colchester at the Galpharm this Saturday.
"The gaffer (Peter Jackson) told me before the Oldham game last week that I'd been picked and I was very pleased, so now I'm just hoping to make the final 16," said the converted midfielder.
"There are some very good players in the 33 from the Championship who could well go on to play in the Premiership - people like Leroy Lita at Reading and one or two from Crystal Palace and Leeds.
"It will be a good test for myself to play alongside some of these people and also to take on the Italians, but I've got to get in the final 16 first."
Taylor's selection is a measure of how consistent Holdsworth has been this season - he has missed only two starts and figured in every League and Cup game - but he's quick to deflect the credit from himself.
"I'm very grateful to the gaffer and Terry Yorath because they were the ones who gave me my chance back in the play-off season," he said.
"I owe a lot to Gerry Murphy and all the coaches in the Academy who have brought me through the ranks and, more recently, Martyn Booty has been a big help as well.
"What has really done the trick, though, has been becoming a regular in the first team. Ever since I first got in the manager has kept picking me and he's given me a lot of confidence.
"I've played every game this season up until this suspension I'll have to serve. I was hoping the cut-off might have come, but it hasn't, so I'll have to sit the Colchester game out.
"That's disappointing, but if the manager keeps on picking me after that then I'll just keep trying to reward him with good performances for the team."
While a run of two wins from 12 since November has severely dented Town's promotion hopes, Holdsworth insists the squad will not be distracted from that goal.
"We want promotion and I think the club deserves it," he said.
"After the progress we've made over the last few years with a very good group of young lads who all know each other well, I think the Championship is where we should be.
"Everyone gets a lot of help from the older players like Andy Booth and Martin McIntosh and, if we all stick together despite this poor run we've had recently, I really do believe it could turn out to be another very good season.
"We have to keep plugging away.
"I know people are disappointed by the Tranmere result and we are as well, but there's still a long way to go and a lot of points to play for.
"Other teams have got games in hand and that always looks worse, but the important thing is that we get back to winning ways on a regular basis.
"We showed last season we can put a long winning run together and we've got the ability to do it again."
So what of his own form now that he's an experienced campaigner (just gone 22 years of age) with over 100 League games to his credit and a play-off winners' medal already in the locker?
"It's been going quite well for me personally," he replied.
"I know I've had one or two bad games but, overall, I've been pretty pleased and I just want to cap it off by helping the lads win promotion.
"To get some recognition in a national squad for the League Under 21s is great for me, but the main aim is obviously to get Town into the Championship by May.
"I think we've got the squad to do it despite our indifferent results of late.
"Getting David Graham in has paid off immediately with the win against Oldham and his goal over at Tranmere, where Dan Smith also did well.
"There was a lot of talk before the transfer window closed about clubs possibly coming in for some of our best young players but that hasn't happened and we are all really pleased.
"A lot of us have come through together at this club and we talked last month about sticking together to get another promotion with Town.
"That's what we are all focused on. If I get in the League squad it will be great for me personally, but the only thing that matters this season is going up.