TOWN head into 2011 with promotion to the Championship their priority.
But manager Lee Clark, who guided his side to the 2010 League I play-offs, is also desperate to reach the Wembley final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and go on an FA Cup run.
The Galpharm side are fourth in the table after Tuesday’s 4-1 defeat at Southampton, with 25 of their 46 league games still to be played.
Highlights of the season so far include the 3-0 opening-day win at Notts County, 3-1 home victory over Charlton, 3-0 triumph at Colchester and 2-0 success at Sheffield Wednesday, Monday’s visitors to the Galpharm.
League I rivals Carlisle are the opponents over two legs in the JPT, with the winners taking on Brentford or Exeter in the final in April, while Town host non-league Dover in the third round of the FA Cup next Saturday.
Jordan Rhodes has again been among the goals, slotting home 14 so far after finishing last season with 23.
Having gone into the final game with a chance of automatic promotion, Town ended up sixth in the table.
They netted 82 goals, and reached three figures in all competitions, but couldn’t get past eventual play-off winners Millwall in the semi-finals, with a goalless draw at the Galpharm being followed by a 2-0 defeat in South London.
Manager Clark reshaped his squad over the close-season, signing Scotland international left-back Gary Naysmith and experienced goalkeeper Ian Bennett from Sheffield United, Scotland Under 21 midfielder Scott Arfield from Falkirk, Icelandic star Joey Gudjonsson from Burnley and centre-back Jamie McCombe from Bristol City.
In on loan came Nottingham Forest striker Joe Garner, left-sided Celtic player Graham Carey, Derby winger Lee Croft and Plymouth’s former Northern Ireland midfielder Damien Johnson, who has unfortunately sustained a season-ending knee injury.
Clark captured Republic of Ireland international striker Alan Lee from Crystal Palace before the closure of the transfer window at the end of August and later made an exciting loan signing in the shape of Arsenal’s England junior international striker Benik Afobe.
Meanwhile there have been changes to Clark’s backroom staff, with Paul Stephenson stepping up to be first-team coach following Derek Fazackerley’s switch to Leicester and Andy Kiwomya taking over performance coach duties from Steve Black, who left due to personal reasons.