DANNY SCHOFIELD is all set to return for Town tonight (7.30).
The 27-year-old has missed three matches following a family bereavement but goes straight into the squad for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy trip to Grimsby.
Schofield will be given the final choice on whether he plays, but manager Andy Ritchie is optimistic he’ll lead the attack alongside Luke Beckett.
Loan man Richard Keogh and defensive partner Nathan Clarke are also confirmed starters as Town chase a first knockout win of any kind against League opposition in over two years.
Ritchie is taking all 20 fit players at his disposal to Blundell Park to face Alan Buckley’s side, who are without injured midfielder Paul Bolland and suspended right-back Ryan Bennett.
“Danny is back, he says he feels fine and if he’s just as positive tonight then we’ll see if we can get an hour out of him up front alongside Luke,” said Ritchie.
“He’s a naturally fit lad in any case, he hasn’t lost any weight or put any weight on and I get the impression he’s itching to play again. We’re glad to have him back.”
Frank Sinclair (hamstring) misses out while Booth could be rested in readiness for Saturday’s League I visit to Crewe.
“We’ve got a realistic chance of winning the JPT so we’re keen to get through, but more importantly we want to build on the confidence we got from winning at Millwall,” added the manager.
“This competition may not have a high profile at the start, but there’s a Wembley final to be played for and it’s up to us to show that we want to progress more than Grimsby do.
“The lads showed a tremendous attitude on Saturday and if we replicate that, we won’t go far wrong.”
Matt Glennon, a finalist in 2003 with Carlisle, will keep his place in goal with Simon Eastwood staying on the bench.
Defender Shane Killock earns a first senior call-up of the season.
l Glennon’s plea – Page 43.