MATT GLENNON has earned the praise of Town boss Lee Clark after volunteering for duty in today’s reserve clash against Grimsby Town.

The experienced 31-year-old who is being kept out of the first-team starting XI by Alex Smithies will be between the posts for the East Division clash at Emley (2.00).

The rest of the side will be made up of first-year professionals and academy players as Clark prepares his first teamers for Saturday’s big League I clash at Charlton Athletic.

“We’ve had a run of midweek matches, so this is a chance to work with the first-team group as a whole for a full week,” explained Clark, who is confident James Berrett will quickly overcome the knock which forced him to leave the Republic of Ireland Under 21 squad before last night’s clash with Switzerland.

The manager added: “Matt asked if he could be involved in the reserve game because he wanted the competitive action, and that’s fine by me.

“It reflects the kind of professional he is, and while Alex has got the shirt at the moment, Matt remains a key member of my squad.”

With Simon Eastwood out on loan at Bradford City, Glennon is Clark’s sole senior back-up for Smithies, who has played every game this season.

The former Carlisle United player’s last outing was at home to Leyton Orient in November (he was ruled out of the second half of last season after a knee operation).

And Clark said: “Matt worked hard to get himself fit again and has continued in that vein to ensure he’s ready if needed.

“It’s been frustrating for him, but he’s missing out to someone who in my opinion is the best young goalkeeper in the country.

“And Matt has played a key part in elevating Alex to that position, by working with him on the training ground and giving him constant advice and encouragement.”