CONFIDENT Town are hot on the heels of the top three and keyed-up manager Peter Jackson today warned their promotion rivals: "We're coming to get you!"
Jon Stead watched last night as Danny Schofield (2) and his replacement loan signing Pawel Abbott powered Town to within two points of the automatic promotion places and a season-high fourth place in a 3-1 thumping of Yeovil at the McAlpine.
All eyes now turn to the Kassam Stadium, where Oxford's unbeaten home record will be tested by York City tonight and Town on Saturday as Jackson predicts more fireworks from his in-form assault force on the back on nine wins in 11 outings.
"We are a big-match team and I know that every player in blue and white stripes is going to battle and scrap and fight for everything at Oxford this weekend," vowed Jackson, who was today planning talks with Preston about Abbott's long-term future.
"We are really looking forward to it. We have come a long way this season and we are now in a fantastic position to achieve our ultimate aim.
"I'm proud of the way we are playing at the moment, because the effort and commitment can't be faulted and we are putting pressure on the teams above us.
"Oxford will have been looking at our result last night and they will be worried about us coming to town. They will know it was a massive win for us, they will know our away form is strong and they will not be looking forward to playing us on Saturday."
Jon Worthington, who joined Lee Fowler on nine bookings (just one short of a two-match ban), was having treatment for a knock today, as was Dwayne Mattis who made his first start in four months before over 9,000 Town fans.
"We know we can play better when we've got the ball, but Dwayne did all I asked of him, Pawel scored another goal, which is great, and I was delighted for Danny to get two cracking goals in a vital win," added Jackson.
"Maybe we defended too deeply towards the end, but our workrate was excellent and I never thought we were going to give it away because the spirit we've got is tremendous and some of our football - especially on the quick breaks - was outstanding."
Town will have 19-year-old trialist right-back Lee Simms, who has just been released by Manchester United, in the Reserves against Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough tonight (7.00), when defender Ian Hughes returns after two months out because of knee surgery.
Town fans should note, tickets for the postponed match at Carlisle are valid for the re-arranged date next Tuesday.
For those unable to attend, refunds will be available at the McAlpine until noon on Monday, where Travel Club fares are also refundable.
Reserves - Giles, Mirfin, Hughes, Scott, Edwards, Simms, Holland, Ahmed, Thompson, Newby, Thorrington. Subs: from Academy.