EXPERIENCED Steve Yates and teenager David Mirfin were today placed on standby for Town's trip to Swansea.
Manager Peter Jackson will choose between the two in central defence at the Vetch Field should Efe Sodje's red-card appeal be rejected.
An FA Commission was due to deliver its verdict today on Sodje's dismissal against Bury and, if the referee's decision is upheld, the 30-year-old will start a three-match ban on Saturday.
That would open the door for either Yates or Mirfin against the Third Division leaders, who also have the most prolific striker around in the eight-goal Lee Trundle.
"We are keeping our fingers crossed on Efe because, ideally, I don't want to have to make any changes at the back," said the manager, who fielded Yates in yesterday's practice match at Barnsley which Town lost 1-0.
"If Efe escapes a ban then that will be great news. If not, then either Steve or young David will step in alongside Paul Scott.
"It is a big test for us because Swansea have got themselves to the top by scoring a few goals, but they have also been conceding a few and that's something we've got to look to exploit.
"We will be going there to have a go at them and try to build on the points we've picked up in the last couple of matches."
It is now pay-at-the-gate for Town fans on Saturday.
Midfielder Andy Holdsworth (foot) did some running on the treadmill yesterday and he is likely to travel with the squad when they leave for South Wales in the morning.
Town will train in Swansea tomorrow before what is their first visit to the Vetch in nine years.
"This is probably our biggest test of the season so far, but I thought Rochdale were the best team we've faced and we didn't have a setback against them, so I don't want one on Saturday," added Jackson.
"Young Holdsworth is responding well to the treatment he is receiving, so I am not going to rule him out at this stage.
"He will do some work today and travel with the squad and I'll make a decision on the team when we've done our training down in Wales tomorrow."
Midfielder Chris Holland is being pencilled in for a return to action in next week's home Reserve clash with Sheffield United (Wednesday, 2pm).
On yesterday's Reserve game, Jackson said: "It was mainly a fitness exercise for Yates and Clarke, but it was useful to have a look at Paul Pike from Bay Athletic as well. He's only 18, but he did well and impressed me."
Holdsworth will be a guest of the Supporters Club at the McAlpine tonight, along with Academy chiefs Gerry Murphy and John Dungworth (7.45).