Morecambe have been boosted ahead of the home clash with Crewe after signing Kieran Charnock on an emergency loan from Torquay.

The defender will stay with the Shrimps until January 4 and looks set to go straight into contention.

The Shrimps went into last weekend's 1-1 draw at Cheltenham without the injured Mark Duffy but were able to welcome back Andy Parrish, Andy Fleming and Craig Stanley into the starting line-up.

Boss Sammy McIlroy will assess a number of minor knocks as his men look to build on their impressive second-half display at Whaddon Road.

Yet he stressed: "As we have said a lot of times this season, we need to be more consistent."

Crewe boss Dario Gradi is expected to abandon the 3-5-3 formation.

"We'll probably change (formation)," said Gradi. "Three at the back is not a system I like particularly. I just wanted to see what effect it had and whether we could shut up shop.

"Maybe it was good defensively as we didn't give away chances in open play but it means we are an attacker short and that is not my favourite way of playing."

Defender Mat Mitchel-King (hamstring) and strikers Calvin Zola and AJ Leitch-Smith remain sidelined by injury but are expected to resume training early next week.

Full-back Chris Hussey, who joined on loan from Coventry this week, has returned to his parent club after suffering an injury in training. Danny Blanchett could be recalled despite Gradi reverting back to a 4-4-2 line-up which was used against Rotherham.

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