FIRED-UP boss Peter Jackson believes star defender Nathan Clarke is a big key to Town's victory chances against highriding Mansfield at Field Mill tomorrow (3.00).
While goalkeeper Phil Senior and striker Jon Stead were selected in the Third Division's Team of the Week, Jackson reckons teenager Clarke had his best game for the club against Hull City last weekend.
It is form he wants to see repeated against the most prolific Nationwide League side as Town seek to end a run of six successive away defeats on a ground where they won 2-0 last term.
"The chance to beat the top two sides in the division in consecutive matches is a big incentive," said Jackson today.
"We turned in a great performance to hammer Hull and now we are going down to Field Mill in a very positive frame of mind knowing an away win would do us a power of good.
"It won't be easy, of course, because Mansfield are going well and are second in the table, but if we can cut out the lapses in concentration which have cost us on our travels this season, then I don't see any reason why we can't come back with the points.
"I thought we defended superbly as a team last week and we need to do that again tomorrow. Nathan Clarke had his best game for the club against Hull and will be tested again by the very quick Junior Mendes, but everyone did their bit at the McAlpine and we were hurt not to keep a clean sheet.
"If Phil Senior can have a blank against his name tomorrow then that will give us the best possible base, because we know we will get our chances at the other end."
Town are without hamstring injury victim Andy Booth, which is not only a blow for his nine goals up front but his aerial ability at defensive set pieces could be felt against a team with 40 goals scored already in the campaign.
Jackson has yet to decide who will skipper the side although club captain Rob Edwards is back in the squad, and it could be that the manager is looking at a change in formation for this one.
He is keeping team plans firmly under wraps, however, although he has frontline options in Danny Schofield and Nat Brown, while both Efe Sodje and new signing Lee Fowler are back in the squad after suspension and Chris Holland returns from injury. Steve Yates completes his three-match ban.
Town have sold over 700 tickets for the Nottinghamshire trip, but there will be a pay turnstile open at Field Mill for entry tomorrow.
Mansfield - Pilkington, Curtis, Day, Vaughan, Lawrence, Larkin, Cordon, Hassell, Mendes, Williamson, Artell. Subs: Beardsley, Disley, White, MacKenzie, Dimech.
Town - Senior, Brown, Clarke, Scott, Hughes, Lloyd, Worthington, Schofield, Carss, Stead, Fowler, Sodje, Thorrington, Onibuje, Booty, Mattis, Edwards, Thompson, Holland, Martin.
Referee - Ian Laws (Whitley Bay).