TOWN chief Peter Jackson is backing skipper Jon Worthington to play a big role as his side aim to finish a frustrating year with a much-needed win at home to Swansea tomorrow (3.00).
The tough-tackling midfielder, reported to be a potential transfer window target for both Wigan and Leeds, returned from two games out with a groin injury to help force a 2-2 home League I draw with Tranmere on Tuesday.
The Galpharm chief was delighted with Worthington's display, and believes more of the same will help his 17th-placed side end 2006 by chalking up a first win in 11 games in all competitions - and a 16th in what will be their 52nd match in the last 12 months.
That spell included two play-off semi-final games against Barnsley in May, and many observers reckon the first leg at Oakwell, when Town won 1-0 through Gary Taylor-Fletcher, was the last time Jackson's side produced a genuine 90-minute performance.
The boss certainly has his work cut out to pilot his side to a third play-off appearance in four seasons, although he insists he has seen positive signs in the last three games, all of which have been drawn to make it 17 stalemates for the year.
"While we produced a solid defensive display at Chesterfield (0-0), we created a lot of chances against both Northampton (1-1) and Tranmere," he said.
"We have to carry on where we left off tomorrow, and also work hard to limit their chances, because it was disappointing to give away two goals to set-pieces against Tranmere.
"It was at least pleasing that we emerged from the Tranmere game without any injury concerns, and I'll be looking for another commanding display from Worthy.
"I thought he really made his presence felt on Tuesday, and his workrate was excellent given that he had hardly trained in the previous two weeks because of his injury.
"He was feeling it a little bit towards the end, but that was to be expected, and he's had a couple of work-outs since and come through without problem, so we have no worries about tomorrow."
While Swansea head North chasing only a third win in 24 visits to Huddersfield (the previous victories were by 2-1 margins in 1992-93 and 1990-91) Town have the added incentive of chalking up a first double of the season after two Taylor-Fletcher strikes sealed a 2-1 September success in South Wales.
Ex-Town loan man Leon Knight, who got the Swans' reply, is currently on loan at Barnsley, but boss Kenny Jackett, whose side were beaten play-off finalists last season, can call on three dangerous frontmen in Lee Trundle, Aussie Rory Fallon and Bayo Akinfenwa.
Scouse star Trundle netted twice in Tuesday's 3-1 win at Crewe which left his side fifth and took his own haul for the season into double figures.
Now the former Stalybridge, Southport, Rhyl and Wrexham striker is aiming to add to that tally as soon as possible, saying: "In other seasons I've got off to a flier - I had 17 by December last year - but then I've ended up tailing off.
"For me this season, just like the form of the team as a whole, it's been a gradual thing.
"Collectively this year we didn't start off on fire, but now we're starting to pick up points and pick up momentum. Hopefully my form will go hand in hand with that."
Swansea have lost just once in 10 in all competitions - 3-2 in their league game at Brighton on December 5 - and Trundle added: "It's the sort of run a club like this should be on.
"We are a big club in this division, we've got big players and we need to be challenging at the top.
"We've got to build on the Crewe win and we can be confident going to Huddersfield, even though we haven't won up there in my time.
"It's definitely a place where I'd like to go and get a victory."
Swansea are set to keep the side on duty at Crewe, which included on-loan men Marcos Painter (Birmingham) at left-back and Ian Craney (Accrington) in midfield as well as Trundle and former Barnsley man Fallon up front.
Jackson has no need to change the XI who started against Tranmere, but could choose to rotate with a view to Monday's trip to Doncaster's new Keepmoat Stadium.
That match is all-ticket for Town fans (£18 adults, £12 Under 16s students and OAPs and £5 Under 11s) and the Galpharm office is open until 5.00 this afternoon and up to kick-off tomorrow.
Town (from): Glennon, Holdsworth, Adams, McIntosh, Mirfin, Brandon, Worthington, Collins, Schofield, Taylor-Fletcher, Booth, Beckett, Abbott, Hudson, Young, McCombe, Ahmed, Hardy, Hand, McAliskey, Eastwood.
Swansea (probable): Gueret, Tate, Painter, Pratley, Lawrence, Austin, Briton, Craney, Trundle, Fallon, Robinson. Subs (from): Iriekpen, Amankwaah, Williams, O'Leary, Akinfenwa, Butler, Oakes.
Referee: David Foster (Tyne and Wear).