Adam Dugdale is ready to give Morecambe boss Jim Bentley a selection headache after recovering from a freak ankle injury.
The big central defender missed the majority of pre-season before making his Shrimps debut in the dramatic 3-3 draw at Portsmouth due to Ryan Edwards’ suspension.
Now the 27-year-old is determined to make his mark.
“Kev (Ellison) had a shot in training and it rebounded off Ryan Edwards and hit my ankle,” said Dugdale.
“It was a freak and it just took a week or so longer than expected to get back.
“It has been frustrating because you want to hit the ground running at a new club.
“To miss the first three or four games of the season that I couldn’t be involved in was hard but injuries and suspensions happen.
“You’ve just got to take your chance when it comes and that’s what I’m trying to do.”
His debut at Portsmouth came at short notice but Dugdale played a big part in a heroic Shrimps defensive effort.
“With Ryan and Kev getting suspended the day before I got thrown in a little bit,” he said.
“That’s football for you. Sometimes you’ve got to go in when you least expect it and do a job.
“I’d only played 45 minutes in pre-season because of my ankle injury.
“I was happy to play and it was a good game to play in, no better really.”
Despite being thrilled to debut in front of 16,000 at Fratton Park the former Crewe and Tranmere man was left devastated at the final whistle as The Shrimps saw a three-goal lead slip.
“It was mixed emotions,” said Dugdale.
“If we’d hanged in their for another minute or so we’d have come away with the points.
“It would have been the perfect away performance but they obviously roused for the last five or 10 minutes.
“I couldn’t see out of my eye and there were one or two others walking wounded on the pitch but I think overall it was a good point and something to build on.”
The eye injury was a gruesome one with Dugdale slitting an eyeball meaning he has been walking around with a bloodshot left eye ahead of Notts County’s visit to the Globe Arena on Saturday.
“I’m not too bad,” he said.
“I just got a little nick on my eye in the last 10 minutes of the game on Saturday and had some blurred vision.
“It probably looks worse than it is. I can see out of it. I just can’t wear my contact lenses which isn’t ideal but it’s part and parcel of football.”
County are a bit of an unknown quantity under Ricardo Moniz but impressed in their 5-3 Capital One Cup defeat to Aston Villa on Tuesday night.
“They did alright against Aston Villa in the cup but hopefully there will be tired legs come the weekend and we’ll be fresher with the extra rest,” said Dugdale.
“It’s one of those where we’ve got to concentrate on ourselves though.
“The gaffer and Kenny look over the DVDs of them and do their homework well and they will give us a picture of what we can expect.
“But it’s about us and if we perform like we did, certainly in the first half at Portsmouth, then we’ll be fine on Saturday.”
Having arrived at the club after a tough spell with relegated Tranmere, Dugdale has been impressed with what he’s seen at the Globe Arena.
“There are some really good players here,” he said.
“Jim and Kenny have got a really squad and it’s a really good environment to be involved in.
“When I was at Tranmere it was the opposite, it was poor.
“Here everyone seems to get on, they’re an honest bunch and I’m looking forward to the future.”