Kallum Higginbotham is pushing for a place in Rochdale's starting line-up ahead of their home game against Morecambe

Higginbotham was introduced as a second-half substitute against Crewe on Boxing Day and scored Dale's second goal in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Gresty Road.

The 20-year-old winger will now hope to be rewarded with a starting berth against the Shrimps, with Joe Thompson the most likely to make way.

Gary Jones was named among the substitutes on Saturday after recovering from a hamstring injury and could be included in the starting XI this time around.

Goalkeeper Tom Heaton is set to make his final appearance for the club before his initial loan from Manchester United expires.

Adam Rundle is available again following his return from a loan spell at Rotherham, although the winger was not included in the matchday 18 against Crewe.

Morecambe boss Sammy McIlroy has been dealt a triple blow.

The Shrimps saw Paul Mullin, Phil Jevons and Neil Wainwright pick up injuries in the Boxing Day defeat to Accrington.

All three are expected to miss the game at Spotland, with the latter possibly out for the season with an Achilles problem.

McIlroy told the club's official website: "The performance on Boxing Day was disappointing but to lose both strikers to injury certainly didn't help.

"I think both are unlikely to play against Rochdale while Neil may be out for the season which is a huge blow for him. He's had Achilles problems before and missed pre-season and you have to feel for the lad.

"Now we will have to make a few changes," he continued. "But it means that there will be a chance for others to make their mark and take their chance."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
#Crewe Alexandra
#Adam Rundle
#Neil Wainwright
#Phil Jevons
#Paul Mullin
#Kallum Higginbotham
#Joe Thompson
#Manchester United
#Tom Heaton
#Gary Jones
#League Two
#Rochdale
#Morecambe
#Sammy McIlroy
#Tom Heaton
Flag article