ANDY HOLDSWORTH hopes to mark a big career milestone tonight with victory against Port Vale at the Galpharm (7.45).
The 21-year-old right-back makes his 100th League appearance against Martin Foyle's side, who are bottom of the current form table.
Manager Peter Jackson - who seems certain to hand Adnan Ahmed a first midfield start of the season - has challenged Holdsworth to get back to the hot form which has made him an automatic choice.
"It's a great tribute to Andy that he's progressed from junior football to 100 League games in such a short time and he's done extremely well in a Town shirt," said Jackson today.
"He has got the talent to achieve anything he wants in this game and I rate him very highly, but in the last few matches he has been disappointing by his own standards so it would be great to see him bounce back to his best against Port Vale in a really good team performance.
"Andy will want to win, that's for sure, and it's important we do. Our home form is the backbone of what we want to achieve and we need to pick up three points to keep us right up there with the leaders in the table."
With the undersoil heating on, Town were today confident the game would go ahead, barring any heavy snowfall later.
Town, with only three points from 12, have no injury worries for the game and prepared yesterday with a cool-down routine around the Galpharm pitch followed by hot and cold baths and massages.
Jackson refused to name his team for tonight but confirmed Boxing Day substitutes Gary Taylor-Fletcher, who scored a dramatic last-gasp equaliser, and particularly Ahmed had pressed their claims for starts.
"They are in with big shouts," said Jackson.
"I thought they both did well when they went on at Millmoor and Adnan turned the game for us.
"The biggest thing tonight is to make sure we start the game much better.
"We cannot affort the sort of slack start we made against Rotherham and it's important we set the tempo."
It has been confirmed that both Chris Brandon and Mark Hudson will be suspended for the Gillingham game on Monday after reaching five cautions.
"The whole squad know they are on standby at the moment and everyone has to be ready," added the manager.
"We know that with Swansea at home to Gillingham and Brentford having a tough away game against Doncaster, we've got a good opportunity to make ground on the others."