Fleetwood Town manager Steven Pressley says new signing Thomas Grant has a few months to impress him if he wants a long-term deal at Highbury.
The 20-year-old midfielder has earned a contract until the end of the season after featuring for the development squad.
It was Town boss Pressley who handed the young Scot his senior debut for Falkirk in a 2-1 defeat at Raith Rovers back in November 2012.
But after making only seven first-team appearances, Grant was released by the Scottish Championship side in January.
And former Rangers and Celtic player Pressley says Grant will not be considered for the first team yet, but has an opportunity to fight for a long-term contract by impressing in for Barry Nicholson’s development side.
Pressley said: “We had Thomas down a couple of moths ago to have a look at him. He performed very well and he’s only a young player.
“He has come into the development group and hopefully he can impress between now and the end of the season, and we will look upon him longer term.
“He is not one who we see immediately coming into the first team.
“We see him as developing, and we will certainly look at how he does over the next couple of months and assess moving forward whether he is right for this football club.”
Grant has a chance to catch Pressley’s eye when he features in the development squad’s friendly against Burnley at the club’s Poolfoot Farm training base in Thornton tomorrow (1pm).
Nicholson’s side drew 2-2 against Preston North End last time out, with Grant and Vamara Sanogo on the scoresheet.
And the Cod Army have been urged to come along and support Town’s youngsters against the Clarets.
Nicholson said: “This is another opportunity for the fans to come and watch the players at the new training ground, and when it’s finally completed it will be even better for them.
“It’s another good test for us. It will be a young team we have out, given the first team have a game the following day.
“We’ve obviously played Burnley and Preston quite a few times already, and they’re good sides who offer us tough fixtures.
“It’s a good chance for us to see where we’re at because we’ll have lads who are pushing for contracts and trying to catch the manager’s eye.”
Pressley’s senior side slipped one place to 19th in the League One table without kicking a ball on Tuesday.
Shrewsbury Town’s 2-1 victory over Pressley’s former club Coventry saw them climb above Fleetwood and Chesterfield into 17th. However, Doncaster remain three points behind Town after losing at Scunthorpe on the same night.
And with a visit to League leaders Burton, who lost 2-0 to Bradford City in midweek, looming for Town on Saturday, Pressley is pleased his team have started adding more goals to their game.
Ash Hunter and Marcus Nilsson scored with fine headers in the controversial 2-2 home draw with Sheffield United last Saturday.
After picking up seven points from a possible nine, with victories over Coventry Pressley is ready to take on Nigel Clough’s Brewers.
He said: “We scored two really terrific headers against Sheffield.
“We are really pleased with that aspect. We are starting to score goals, which is an important factor.
“If you’d offered seven from nine at the start of last week I’d have taken it, but I’m greedy.
“I’m a manager who wants more all the time and I’m disappointed we didn’t get the nine from nine.”
Oliver Langford will referee Saturday’s game at the Pirelli Stadium.
The West Midlands whistle-blower has yet to take charge of a Fleetwood fixture this season. He last did so in their 2-0 defeat at Accrington Stanley during the 2013/14 campaign.
Town’s home fixture against Peterborough has been moved back a week to Tuesday, April 5. Originally scheduled for Easter Monday, it has been rearranged because Posh have three players called up for international duty.