FIRED-UP manager Peter Jackson is backing Jon Stead to prove he's the hottest shot in Division III against leaders Swansea City tomorrow (3.00).
Town's seven-goal frontman goes head-to-head with Vetch Field hero Lee Trundle in a shoot-out to whet the appetite of every fan.
Jackson is especially keen for 20-year-old Stead to star following the loss yesterday of Efe Sodje's appeal against a three-match ban for his sending-off at Bury.
The popular 30-year-old Nigerian defender sits it out tomorrow (when Danny Schofield completes his suspension), on Tuesday when Town visit Sunderland in the Carling Cup and next Saturday, when Leyton Orient travel north.
The news came as Stead, Sodje and Tony Carss were all named in the Nationwide Division III Team of the Week alongside Trundle.
"The news on Efe is a massive blow to me, to the player and to the club, so we are doubly determined to do well tomorrow," said Jackson, who travelled this morning for a teatime squad training session in South Wales.
"We are really up for the game, which is sure to be billed as a battle between Steady and Trundle, and we'll be giving it everything we've got.
"While Swansea have been scoring goals, they've also been letting them in and they will be worried about the fact that Jon Stead is in town.
"Trundle and Kevin Nugent are a good striking partnership for them and we've got Steady and Boothy - it should be a cracking game."
Jackson will play either Steve Yates - whose wife is expecting their second child any day - or David Mirfin at centre-back against Bryan Flynn's side. Yates hasn't played since the August Bank Holiday draw against Doncaster while 18-year-old Mirfin has never made a League start.
"It will be a big job for whoever steps in, but we are not going there to sit back," said Jackson. "Their defensive record is worse than ours, so we will be aiming to get at them and play our own attacking game."
Swansea - Freestone, Duffy, O'Leary, Iriekpen, Howard, Maylett, Britton, Wilson, Robinson, Trundle, Nugent. Subs: Murphy, Durkan, Connolly, Johnrose, Thomas.
Town - (from): Gray, Hughes, Scott, Yates, Mirfin, Edwards, Holdsworth, Newby, Fowler, Worthington, Carss, Booth, Stead, Brown, Ahmed, Senior, Booty, Mattis.
Referee - Steve Tanner (Gloucester).