ANDY BOOTH is backing Stan Ternent to make Town promotion challengers this season.
The strike legend played 66 minutes of Saturday’s encouraging 2-1 friendly win over Sheffield United and came through without further back-injury problems.
He will be in contention for Wednesday’s centenary celebration match against Arsenal (7.00) but, more importantly, is already champing at the bit to face Stockport in the big League I kick-off on Saturday.
“The lads are feeling good and I’m sure we will be up there this season,” said Booth, who saw strike rivals Danny Cadamarteri and Keigan Parker wipe out Gary Speed’s strike for United.
“We put a whole new XI on in the second half and it was still a first team, so there’s tremendous competition for places and the gaffer is looking to bring in even more players, so it will be hard to get a shirt.
“That can only be good for the club and the new lads are settling in well, we are all highly delighted with the win and also the fact we looked strong as a team, so it’s onwards and upwards from here.
“We all know the Arsenal match is coming up and more than 13,000 fans have bought tickets for that, but we’ve already got our eyes on next Saturday when there will be an even bigger crowd down and it would be great to celebrate with three points.”
Ternent started with five new signings and trialist David Unsworth in his team and made 11 substitutions during the second half.
Alex Smithies got another chance to deputise in goal with trialist Paul Gerrard injured.
Assistant manager Ronnie Jepson confirmed: “All the lads came through unscathed which is exactly what we want.
“One or two clubs have been having a look at David Unsworth, but we’ve got him in, he’s an experienced pro, and he’s been having a chat with the gaffer.
“We were happy with the overall performance but we don’t go overboard because we know there is more to do.”
He added: “They were two great finishes for our goals and Danny Cadamarteri deserved his. He has been excellent in pre-season, looked after himself and worked extremely hard, so if anyone deserved a goal it was him.”