MANAGER of the Month Peter Jackson launched the post-Stead Town era today by announcing a 'no risk' policy on the return of Andy Booth.
The 30-year-old frontman hasn't played this year because of a groin injury - missing the four straight wins which have deservedly earned Jackson January's divisional award.
With Stead now at Blackburn Rovers and Jackson having no immediate luck in the transfer market, Booth's availability for Saturday's home clash with Darlington would be a bonus.
Jackson, however, insists he has every faith in his squad and if the 10-goal marksman isn't fully recovered, then he won't be leading the attack in Saturday's Quid-a-Kid fixture.
"We will have to assess Boothy throughout this week, because what we can't afford is to play him on Saturday and risk him being out for the next six weeks," said Jackson today.
"If Boothy proves he is fully fit then fine, but he will only feature this weekend if he is absolutely 100%.
"If there is even a 1% chance that he might break down then he won't play. We will be taking no risks whatsoever."
Booth's chances have not been helped by the postponement of tomorrow's McAlpine Reserve game against rivals Barnsley, which was scheduled for 2pm.
Town have called off the fixture because they are worried about the state of the McAlpine pitch following Friday's rugby league match between the Giants and Castleford.
Weather reports indicate more rain, so they don't want to put Saturday's visit of Darlington in jeopardy by playing tomorrow and giving groundstaff little time to work on the surface.
On his hunt for a Stead replacement, Jackson added: "I am certainly not going to rush into anything because that would be unfair on the lads already here who are more than capable of doing the job.
"Jon Newby is a terrific player, keen to get back after injury, and he just needs a goal to set things off.
"Nat Brown is in much the same boat as far as needing a goal, but he has been outstanding lately and if he keeps on working hard it will happen for him.
"There's Boothy, Danny Schofield and others I can use up there, so if the right signing doesn't become available immediately I won't be rushed."
Jackson hopes the Quid-a-Kid scheme in which it's just £1 entry for Under 16s in all sections on Saturday will help swell the gate as Town chase a seventh straight League win (a best for 22 years).
"I have every faith in the young squad we've got here and it's vital the fans stick with it and rally to the cause," he said.
"Half my team weren't even born the last time we won seven on the trot and I'm proud of what they've achieved already, because we are in a great position and determined to see it through in the rest of the season.
"Everyone I've spoken to in the game thinks we've got a terrific young squad and we are not going to waste all our hard work now, just because one man has left us for the top flight."