DANNY CADAMARTERI is desperate to step up as Huddersfield Town continue their League I promotion bid at Stevenage tonight.
The livewire frontman came off the bench to help his fourth-placed side seal a 2-0 home win over Exeter on Saturday in Simon Grayson’s first match as manager.
The new boss will have to do without strike star Jordan Rhodes, who joined up with Scotland Under 21s after hitting the 30-goal mark with the clinching effort five minutes from time.
That means a starting berth will be available at Broadhall Way, where Town aim to condemn seventh-placed Stevenage to a third successive defeat.
Cadamarteri is keen to fill it ahead of competition from Lee Novak, who also impressed from the bench against Exeter, and Kallum Higginbotham.
The 32-year-old is certainly enjoying his football, having come back in from the cold under former manager Lee Clark.
Saturday’s appearance was his ninth in succession after playing just once previously this season, in the disappointing 4-1 FA Cup first-round defeat at Swindon.
Cadamarteri played alongside Grayson at Bradford a decade ago, and is happy to be reunited with the former defender.
“It’s been a smooth transition,” said the ex-Everton starlet. “He’s come in and told us he didn’t think there was a lot that needed changing.
“He’s not taken over a team that’s struggling for form or confidence. He simply told us to enjoy ourselves, so he’s started from where the old manager left off.
“But he stressed that he didn’t want anyone to do anything out of the ordinary to impress him. He knows a lot of the lads already and what we’re capable of.
“The main thing is he wanted us to relax on the ball, keep it simple and express ourselves. We’re obviously delighted to have got a win for him in his first match and now we want another.”
Cadamarteri says the squad have moved on from the surprise dismissal of Clark, which hit some of the younger players hard.
“Some of them had never lost a manager in their career before,” he explained. “It was tough for some of them at first, but thankfully there’s a lot of older heads here too.
“I’ve seen managers come and go both here and at other clubs, as have the other older players. We were able to rally round and offer the younger ones support.”
Cadamarteri says former Blackpool and Leeds boss Grayson’s approach is different from Clark’s, adding: “People have different personalities. The new gaffer is quieter and a bit chilled.
“The old gaffer was very enthusiastic and dramatic. He’d head and kick every ball from the touchline. But both ways are good.”
Automatic promotion remains the aim and Cadamarteri said: “Finishing in the top two has always been in the back of our minds. We’d love to achieve it for lots of reasons.
“It wouldn’t just be a ‘thank you’ to the old manager. It would be for the new manager and for the chairman, who’s a fan and has put the money in.
“It would also reward the fans for sticking with us and, obviously, we want to do it for ourselves. We take pride in being successful.”