Steve Williams has been warned he is facing a “make or break” season with City.

Peter Jackson insists the former non-league centre half is still part of his thinking – as long as he knuckles down.

The City boss believes Guy Branston will be a huge help as Williams looks to bounce back from a difficult second pro term.

But Jackson has left the 24-year-old, whose contract runs until 2013, in no doubt that the buck stops with him. He said: “I’ve told Williams what an important season this is going to be for him.

“There have been a lot of changes at the club and changes for the better. We’ve new players coming in, new facilities, new coaches and new ways of how we are doing things.

“Williams has a future here without a shadow of a doubt. He’s got all the attributes to go on but it’s down to him.

“I was disappointed with him in games last season and I’m hoping someone like Branston will bring out the best in him and carry him along.”

Williams was plucked from Bamber Bridge two years ago by Stuart McCall and made an instant impact, so much so that national reports linked him with Leicester and Nottingham Forest.

But like many who have made the jump from part-time football, his form levelled out in the second year.

Criticised by Peter Taylor over his professionalism, Williams also found himself dropped by Jackson towards the end of the season.

Jackson added: “Clubs were looking at him when he first burst on the scene. He was linked with certain clubs and it was all happening.

“Then he had a poor season last year and they stopped watching him. That’s why this season is massive for him – it’s make or break.

“If he gets it right then we’ll have a player and I’ve told him that.

“He really has to take it on board and train hard, like he has done (in pre-season). Williams is in my plans and it’s down to him to remain in them. He has to up his game and his discipline and so far I’ve had no problems with him.

“But it’s not just about one individual. It’s a similar scenario with James Hanson.

“All the non-league players have come in, had a good first season and then a poor second. So you can look at Dave Syers as well and say it’s a big season.”

With Branston tipped to land the captaincy, Williams will be fighting it out with Luke Oliver to partner him in the middle.

“I’ve already spoken to Guy about him,” said Jackson. “But whether it’s Williams, Oliver or Lee Bullock playing there, I’m sure Guy’s attitude will pull them along.”