TOWN step up preparations for the new season at Rotherham tonight with one of their young guns setting a high standard in consistency.
Wing-back Andy Holdsworth has continued in pre-season where he left off last term and manager Peter Jackson believes he will not only be a hit in Coca-Cola League I this term but in the top flight before too much longer.
Holdsworth is included in a strong line-up for the club's most testing pre-season assignment so far, and Jackson is targeting a clean sheet from Ian Gray and his defence at Millmoor (7.45).
"Andy Holdsworth looks a better player month by month and, since breaking into the side in pre-season 12 months ago, he has never looked back," said Jackson today.
"He is getting stronger all the time and his performances have been very consistent for a long period of time.
"I've been pleased with him throughout our pre-season schedule, both in matches and on the training ground, and I've no doubt he'll be keen to do well against Rotherham tonight in what will be our toughest test so far."
Holdsworth - who played only two Reserve games before his impressive breakthough into the senior ranks a year ago - made a total of 38 starts last season plus five as a substitute and took the play-off campaign in his stride with solid displays against Lincoln City and Mansfield.
"I think Andy will be a Premiership player before his career is out," added Jackson, who has Andy Booth leading the attack tonight alongside Junior Mendes.
"I really do rate him that highly - as do all our staff here - because he has exactly the right attitude during matches and in training.
"He has matured extremely quickly to become a regular first teamer - like the rest of our young lads, he has had to do because of the club's circumstances - and I think he will do well again this season.
"I think Andy is versatile enough to play sweeper, he could play in midfield and it wouldn't surprise me if he could do a job up front.
"I'm sure people remember when he almost scored against Lincoln in the play-offs, crashing through a tackle near the halfway line and running the rest of the pitch before shooting just wide.
"That sums Andy up, and on top of all his footballing ability, he's a terrific lad as well."
On tonight's match, in which Jon Worthington and Tony Carss are expected to join Danny Schofield in midfield, Jackson added:
"We will have to do a lot better than Saturday at Harrogate and this will be a tough test to launch a tough week for us."