GERRY MURPHY is set to name the same side for the third time as caretaker boss as he aims to give Town fans the West Yorkshire League I bragging rights with victory in tonight’s big home derby against Leeds (7.45).
A three-point haul against Gary McAllister’s promotion chasers would be a major feather in the cap of Murphy, who spent much of yesterday on the board panel interviewing managerial candidates.
But the Irishman who has so far guided his temporary charges to draws against Doncaster and Port Vale says satisfying the massed Town supporters in what looks sure to be the biggest crowd at the Galpharm this season is his first priority.
The highest to date is 13,410 for the FA Cup third-round win over Premier League Birmingham while the league best is 10,994 for the draw with Nottingham Forest.
Sixth-placed Leeds, who are now chasing a fourth successive win and are hoping (at a hearing later this week) to be handed back the 15 points docked after entering administration, have sold out their 3,100 allocation.
And Murphy, keen to kick-start a rush for cut-price season tickets, which go on sale tomorrow morning, said: “This game is primarily about the supporters and it would be lovely for our fans to be the ones leaving the stadium with smiles on their faces.
“Just like last season’s game against Bradford (when Town won 2-0 in the first match of Murphy’s first stint as caretaker) it’s a match when the result outweighs everything else, and it would be great if the outcome were to be the same.
“That’s not to say we haven’t done our homework on Leeds. I watched them win at Doncaster, and we’ve had detailed reports on their victories over Leyton Orient and Carlisle.
“We’ve worked on tactics which we believe can negate their threat and help us make the most of ours.
“But we have to be ready to cope with a red-hot atmosphere and the passion of a typically hard-fought derby, and above all we need real commitment and desire to take those points.”
Tough-tackling midfielder Jon Worthington looks set to beat the ankle injury which forced him off during the goalless draw at Vale Park.
But Frank Sinclair remains sidelined with an ankle injury picked up while on duty with the reserves, who have their own Pontin’s League derby at Bradford tomorrow.
That means Tom Clarke will be on the bench and hoping to make only a second appearance of the season.
Leeds are waiting on a fitness test for 20-goal top-scorer Jermaine Beckford, who was forced off during Saturday’s 3-2 home win over Carlisle by an ankle injury. Tresor Kandol is on stand-by.