PETER JACKSON today pledged Town will learn to combat the most stubborn of League I opposition this season.
Disappointed by last night's goalless draw against Chesterfield in front of a Galpharm crowd of 11,942, Jackson has immediately started turning thoughts to Monday night's Sky TV meeting with Hartlepool on home soil.
By then, he's hoping injured goalkeeper Ian Gray (bruised hand) might be available and confessed that midfielder Chris Brandon and striker Pawel Abbott have done their chances of starting no harm at all with impressive displays as subs.
"We are well on track with four points from two games, but the way Chesterfield played showed just how much respect we've earned at this stadium over the last 12 months," said Jackson, who reported a calf injury for Rob Edwards as Town missed out on successive opening wins for the first time since the 1989-90 season.
"Teams are going to come here and get behind the ball, they are going to fight in solid banks of four and we will have to learn to cope with that.
"The clean sheet was pleasing, although how we managed it when Chesterfield had four great chances I'll never know, but going forward we never got our wing-backs joined in, we didn't get behind them and turn them in the way that I wanted."
Brandon and Abbott put extra spark into Town's play on a night when Jackson named five outfield subs.
"I was impressed with how Brandon played and Abbott worked hard as well to make a breakthrough," said Jackson.
"In the first half we allowed Chesterfield to dominate and didn't create a decent chance. In the second we played better but it wasn't like we can perform."
Jackson paid tribute to Town's supporters in a highest opening home League crowd for four years and best in the Coca-Cola League I last night.
"You can't disguise the fact we didn't play our best, but the fans stuck right behind myself and the lads and gave us superb backing," he said.
"We will need more of the same on Monday, when we play a team who were in the play-offs last season.
"It's a game which should tell us exactly where we stand at this level of competition."