PROUD manager Peter Jackson is aiming to bring the good times back to Town in 2004.
Having guided the club to ninth place in the Third Division during a hectic few months since his appointment, Jackson reckons Town have all to play for in the second half of the season.
Starting with Saturday's crunch derby against Doncaster - which could attract the biggest McAlpine crowd of the season - Jackson is keen to chalk a third straight win and inspire the consistency which could be the key to a play-off place.
"Considering the club was in such dire straits only a few months ago and struggling to survive, I'm happy with much that we've done in the first half of the season and we are keen to build from here," said the manager, who insists there have been no further enquiries for Jon Stead ahead of tomorrow's opening of the transfer window.
"We have had some tremendous highs against the likes of Derby and Sunderland in the Carling Cup and Torquay and Hull in the League, while I think the low would have to be our performance at Macclesfield, when we really let ourselves down.
"Other than that, the lads have been a delight to work with, they are honest professionals who want to do well for this club and, above all, they will give everything to try and bring success for the supporters.
"If I was to ask for one thing in the New Year it would be for more consistency, because if we play like we can I don't think we've got anyone to fear in this division and - if we can maintain the standards we are capable of - there's every chance we can challenge at the top.
"It would help a lot if we could avoid injuries and suspensions, because I don't really seem to have been able to field a settled side through the whole compaign, and the backing of the fans is vital.
"It wouldn't surprise me if we get the biggest crowd of the season on Saturday and if our fans can out-shout the 4,000 who are travelling from South Yorkshire then it will be worth a hell of a lot to the lads."
Town's best gate so far is 13,893 against Hull City in November, while police are preparing for a 15,000 crowd this weekend.
Town are hoping to have Tony Carss and Danny Schofield back from injury while Nathan Clarke returns from a one-match ban served against Bury.
Lee Fowler starts a two-match ban against Doncaster for his second sending-off of the season against Oxford, which marked the start of Town's unbeaten three-match holiday run.
His absence, plus that of injured players like Ian Gray, Jon Newby, Ian Hughes, David Mirfin and Paul Scott illustrates Jackson's frustration.
"There have been too many occasions when we've had five and six people under treatment in addition to players suspended, so I'd like to see that improve," he said.
"It was particularly pleasing to pick up maximum points against Darlington and Bury with so many players being ruled out, even though the performances were well below what we know we are capable of.
"The fact is, though, that we are right back among the play-off contenders and, if we can beat Doncaster in what is a very difficult match on Saturday, it will be a fantastic start to 2004.
"Most of the top clubs have got to come to the McAlpine in the second half of the season, so there is every incentive for us to get stuck in, stamp our authority and give it our best shot."