JIM GOODWIN today told Town supporters: “You can play a key role in making us successful this season.”
The new midfield signing knows all about fan power, having started his career at Celtic, whose Parkhead home is one of the most partisan arenas in the game.
But the 26-year-old also felt its effect at Scunthorpe, where he and fellow fresh face Andy Butler were part of a promotion-winning team in League I two seasons ago.
If season-ticket sales are a guide (further junior purchases have pushed the current figure up to 16,190), Town will attract their best average attendance since the top-flight season of 1970-71.
And Goodwin, a former Republic of Ireland Under 21 captain who has one full cap, said: “It’s an old cliche, but it’s also a true one – supporters can be your 12th man.
“Selling more than 16,000 season tickets has raised eyebrows throughout the game. Our fans have shown commitment, now we, as players, have to repay it by bringing success.
“It’s fantastic to have such backing, but it also raises the expectation levels, and hopefully the supporters will stick with us.
“While we have an experienced backbone to the side, we also have some young up-and-coming players.
“They need to be encouraged and helped along so that if they make mistakes, they still have the courage to go looking for the ball.
“On a wider scale, any player will tell you that vocal backing makes a big difference, at home as well as away.
“The season we went up at Scunthorpe, there was a snowball effect in terms of home support and we won 15 and lost just two of our 23 games at Glanford Park.
“Having a good home record is vital in any league.
“Visiting teams used to say Glanford Park was a hard place to come to and hopefully it will be the same at the Galpharm.”
Goodwin’s comments come with Town expected to take a four-figure following to Bury for Saturday’s opening friendly.
It’s pay on the day (£10 adults, £5 concessions) at Gigg Lane, where kick-off is 3.00.
Town have also confirmed it will be pay on the night (£15 adults, £10 seniors and £5 juniors) for the home Carling Cup first-round derby with Bradford on Tuesday, August 12.
The Fantastic Media Stand will be closed and all seating will be unreserved.