As East Fife battle against an increasing injury list, Bayview boss Gary Naysmith admits he may have to use the emergency loan system to ease the strain.
The Fifers were only able to list three outfield subs at the weekend as they visited Stranraer but the manager was hamstrung even further with the trio of replacements, Jamie Insall, Paul McManus and Kevin O’Hara, all being forwards.
Key players missing include Chris Duggan, Scott Robinson and Mark Lamont - individuals any club in League One would struggle without.
Ahead of this weekend’s visit from Airdrieonians, the gaffer says he’ll be looking at what loans are available to him.
The boss said: “We don’t have a big squad anyway with Chris Duggan’s injury and the couple of players out on loan.
“But we’ve lost Scott Robinson and Mark Lamont so by losing them and Chris Duggan, that’s nearly most of our attacking threat.
“We had to go with what we had at Stranraer.
“Again we’ll have to look at it again because I know Scott Robinson won’t be back, Mark Lamont is touch and go, Kevin O’Hara is away with the Scotland under 19s, and we’ll need to see how Ross Brown is.
“So we’re down to the bare bones and it may be that we get an emergency loan in.
“I’ll have to speak to the chairman.”
Despite the depleted numbers, the manager remains delighted with the attitude and effort being given by his players.
Following Saturday’s 1-1 draw, Naysmith said he was proud with how his players had to dig in during a second half when they came under some heavy pressure.
Those effort levels, Naysmith said, are being replicated throughout the week in training.
He said: “The training on Tuesday night was probably the best since I’ve been manager.
“It was really, really good and at a high intensity.
“It’s no coincidence that when we have a full week the results are there.”
The manager said that he was as pleased as he’s ever been with his side following their draw at Stair Park, reserving special praise for his fellow defenders.
“I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t play well, not at all,” said the boss.
“But the other back three were outstanding.
“Jonathan Page was his normal self, Jason Kerr came back in and was probably man of the match and Scott Mercer was back to his best.
“I’m really pleased with the players because what they’re showing is that they’re fighting for me.”
A change in tactics saw the more physical presence of Kevin Smith replace Jamie Insall up front.
It was a move which paid off, with Smith setting up Ross Brown’s opening goal.
“We wanted to get the ball forward a little bit more,” said Naysmith.
“In the past couple of weeks when we’ve not been able to get down the sides and create chances we’ve not been able to get the best out of Jamie.
“We knew Stranraer like to get the ball forward quickly so we wanted to fight fire with fire.
East Fife Supporters Club are having a fund-raising party/aloe vera party on Friday, October 28 at 7pm at Bayview.