JON STEAD leads Town's bid for a fifth straight win against Boston at the McAlpine tomorrow (3.00) bidding to become the club's first 20-goal striker since Marcus Stewart.
The 20-year-old took his tally to 18 with a penalty in last week's victory at Cambridge and, if he matches his double from the last home game against Doncaster, he will hit the milestone which crowd favourite Stewart achieved five years ago.
That was in Peter Jackson's only previous full season as manager, so he is ideally placed to assess how Stead is playing in comparison as Town bid to improve their play-off hopes against Neil Thompson's side, who have never before played at the McAlpine.
"I am certainly not going to set targets for Steady, but the way he is playing at the moment, he's the most dangerous frontman in this division," said Jackson, who recalls Lee Fowler to the starting line-up and who may have keeper Ian Gray back on the bench.
"Steady frightens defences, he can score from anywhere and, after his performances of late, you can be sure that Boston will be thinking long and hard about him.
"He is in superb form and I'm delighted because, with all the rumour and speculation that's been going round about transfers, he has just got on with what he does best and his attitude, determination and desire to do well for this football club have been there for all to see.
"He really has taken it all in his stride, because speculation like this would have knocked a lot of young players off their game. Steady has been the opposite, he has been outstanding all season, and he'll be giving it his all once again against Boston tomorrow."
Stewart bagged 25 goals in that 1998-99 season, playing alongside Wayne Allison.
"Steady and Marcus Stewart are completely different players, but they both know where the back of the net is," added Jackson.
"Marcus fed off a big striker, made great runs and came alive around the box, whereas Steady has got a bit of everything in his game. He can score from 30 yards or three, he can cause problems in the air and his workrate is immense in all areas of the pitch - and he is getting better by the week."
So can Town keep hold of him, or will he be off to join Stewart at Sunderland in the near future?
"The telephone still hasn't rung, but that's the way the transfer market is at the moment," he said.
"Clubs fighting for survival in the Premiership would rather invest six months on the wages of a loan player than millions on a signing.
"That's why Ken Davy and the board deserve credit for rejecting, on my recommendation, the £800,000 which Sunderland offered because there can't be many clubs in our situation who have ever turned down that sort of money.
"They also deserve credit for putting me under no pressure to sell Steady, although every player has his price and if the right offer comes in we will have to listen seriously."
Town - Senior, Holdsworth, Lloyd, Clarke, Yates, Sodje, Fowler, Schofield, Worthington, Brown, Stead. Subs from: Gray, Giles, Holland, Thorrington, Mattis, Mirfin, Newby.
Boston - Bastock, Beevers, Balmer, Greaves, Potter, Rusk, Bennett, Ellender, Redfearn, Jones, Boyd. Subs: Croudson, Duffield, Douglas, Angel, Hogg.
Referee - Paul Robinson (E.Yorks).