ANDY HOLDSWORTH reckons every member of Town’s squad is playing for their future – not just those out of contract.
As fans await developments on the appointment of Andy Ritchie’s successor, the versatile 24-year-old says whoever plays at Port Vale on Saturday has every incentive to impress.
“I think that every player, in the back of their mind, has a niggly little worry that a new manager might not like them as a footballer,” said Holdsworth.
“That’s part and parcel of the game, and while you might be under contract, that doesn’t mean you’re place in the side is safe.
“All you can do is work as hard as possible in training and matches. That’s what I’ve always done, and that’s what I’ll continue to do.
“It’s like (caretaker manager) Gerry Murphy says, you only get one chance at a first impression. It might be that whoever takes over watches us for the first time at Port Vale.”
Holdsworth has terms through to the end of next season, just like Luke Beckett, Danny Cadamarteri, Tom Clarke, Simon Eastwood, Malvin Kamara, Shane Killock, David Mirfin and Jon Worthington.
The contracts of Nathan Clarke, Michael Collins, Phil Jevons and Robbie Williams run until 2010.
With no injury worries from Saturday’s 2-2 home draw with Doncaster, Murphy could well stick with the same 3-5-2 formation at Vale Park, where a Town win would all but condemn the Potteries side to relegation from League I.
However the team managed by ex-Town centre-back Lee Sinnott have kept survival hopes alive by winning three on the spin (against Gillingham, Leyton Orient and Brighton), and Holdsworth warned: “While there’s hope, they’ll be fighting for points.”
Tickets for Town’s centenary game against Arsenal on Wednesday, August 6, go on sale tomorrow.
It’s £15 adults, £10 seniors and students and £5 juniors and current season-ticket holders can have their existing seats reserved for them until Friday, June 6.