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THE chase is on for the right to partner Jordan Rhodes in Town’s League I opener at home to Bury on August 6.

That’s the message from manager Lee Clark after he saw Lee Novak net to seal a 1-0 win at his old club Gateshead in the club’s first friendly.

Rhodes, top scorer for the last two seasons, was among Town’s ‘second half’ side at the International Stadium on Saturday.

And Clark confirmed: “He’s earned the right to be one of my strikers come August 6 because he’s a consistent goalscorer.”

On Novak, who was partnered by Alan Lee in the first half before Rhodes and Jimmy Spencer got the nod after the break, Clark said: “The gauntlet’s been thrown down.

“Whoever scores and plays well on a regular basis in pre-season will get the opportunity to play alongside Jordan Rhodes come the Bury match.”

Town head into Wales on Wednesday to take on Gateshead’s Blue Square Premier rivals Wrexham.