LOAN man Gary Harkins makes his Football League debut against Scunthorpe tomorrow as manager Peter Jackson goes for youth to grab three critical promotion points at the McAlpine (3.00).

The Blackburn teenager will play in midfield as Town partner Danny Schofield with another debutant, John McAliskey, in an all-change frontline against Brian Laws' men.

It means seven of the Town starting line-up will be 22-years-old or younger - nine senior squad members are absent through injury, suspension or loan - and Jackson has called on supporters to give them maximum backing in the Quid-a-Kid match (£1 entry for U16s).

"Scunthorpe are fighting for their lives at the bottom end of the table and we have to be ready for that, but this is our biggest game so far and with everyone giving 100% to the cause - players, management, staff and fans - we can get those vital three points," said Jackson, who has added Ian Hughes, Dwayne Mattis and Academy second-year Matty Young to his squad.

"It will be one of the youngest sides we've put out this season, so our fans have a massive role to play in what is a big game for these kids.

"The lads have prepared well, though, they are keen to get cracking and the most important thing is that we win."

Sweeper David Mirfin goes into the game with a selection in the Division III Team of the Week under his belt and Jackson accepts his defence will have to be on top form against the division's 24-goal leading scorer Steve MacLean.

"MacLean and Steve Torpey are big lads, so Efe Sodje and Steve Yates have important marking jobs and Dave Mirfin needs to maintain his excellent form," added Jackson.

"Mirf is emerging as one of the best young defenders in the Nationwide and he's a big prospect for the future, but it's also a big game for McAliskey and Harkins on their debuts and I want them to get every encouragement and to go out and do what they do best."

Scunthorpe have prepared by going to Lilleshall for two days to avoid the turmoil at Glanford, where long-serving chief executive Don Rowing looks like being ousted and a £250,000 sponsorship deal has fallen through because of the new club takeover.

Jackson took Town on the McAlpine pitch today to go through their final workout and brush up on both attacking and defensive set pieces.

"Our build-up has been fine and now we just want to execute in the best possible way come the day," he said.

"Scunthorpe are the only team left who can do the double over us and that 6-2 defeat over there, when Lee Fowler was sent-off and MacLean got a hat trick, still hurts - so there is an element of revenge and we don't want them going away with a double."

Strikers Andy Booth and Pawel Abbott, of course, are suspended.

"We have got every incentive to do the business tomorrow and to maintain our fine McAlpine record and if we play like we can, we can do that with a win."

Tickets for Tuesday's trip to Northampton remain on sale at the McAlpine, where season-ticket holders can buy for the Cheltenham game from 9am tomorrow.

 This week's Ask Jacko column