IN-FORM Nat Brown goes into tomorrow's clash at Cambridge playing for the chance of a new Town contract.
Manager Peter Jackson has revealed he will have talks with the versatile 22-year-old providing he maintains his recent impressive form.
Brown was in the squad which headed down the A1 today and seems certain to lead the attack for an unchanged team at the Abbey Stadium following an injury setback for Andy Booth yesterday.
Town, of course, are looking for a fourth straight win (3.00) and a return to the play-off placings against a side who have won only twice at home all season and who are struggling for goals.
Brown, who is out of contract in the summer, will be aiming to grab his first League goal and Jackson said today:
"Nat has been playing extremely well and, if he keeps on playing to this standard, there will be a contract for him for the next couple of seasons.
"He has to be consistent, though. That is the governing factor.
"I want to see him producing the goods week in and week out and forcing my hand to give him a contract.
"If things go as they are, then I would expect to have Nat in during the next couple of weeks to have a chat about things."
Brown was one of four Town players named in the Division III team of the week. Jon Stead, Danny Schofield and Nathan Clarke were the others, alongside Kevin Gray (Carlisle) and ex-Town loan man Damien Delaney (Hull).
While Booth's groin niggle is almost certain to keep him out tomorrow, Jackson is expecting defender Steve Yates to be fit, although he has added David Mirfin and Martyn Booty to the squad as cover, along with Tyrone Thompson and Adnan Ahmed.
"We had been training for an hour when Boothy had the injury twinge and, obviously, we have got to err on the side of caution," said the manager.
"If he plays and pulls up, Boothy might be out for a month, and that's the last thing we want."
Midfielder Lee Fowler completes his two-match ban tomorrow and will play instead in a training-ground practice match involving the club's Academy players.
Striker Jon Newby is also due to play in the game, supervised by coach John Dungworth, with a view to making his return for the Reserves at Bradford on Tuesday. Newby hasn't played since September because of knee surgery but is now on the verge of fitness.
Cambridge - (probable): Marshall, Angus, Duncan, Venus, Goodhind, McCafferty, Guttridge, Tann, Tudor, Turner, Webb. Subs (from): Brennan, Murray, Gleeson, Lockett, Dutton, Taylor.
Town - (from): Senior, Yates, Sodje, Clarke, Lloyd, Holdsworth, Edwards, Worthington, Schofield, Stead, Brown, Giles, Holland, Mirfin, Mattis, Booty, Thompson, Thorrington, Ahmed.
Referee - Andy Hall (Birmingham).