Alex Morris says Crewe Alexandra are ‘down to the bare bones’ after forward Lachlan Brook was ruled out for six weeks.
The Australian, who has impressed since joining on loan from Brentford earlier this summer, picked up an ankle injury during the 2-2 draw with Northampton Town on Saturday.
The manager admits his injury has come as a blow, at a time while forwards Bassala Sambou (suspended) and Christopher Long (not match fit) are unavailable.
Morris said: “Things have got a lot worse because Lachlan Brook is going to be out for about six weeks, so we are down to the bare bones already.
“Those options at the top end of the pitch have gone from being quite vast to quite bare.
“We haven’t got a deep squad; we knew at the start of the season that we'd need to keep players fit. But when you do lose players to injury it severely restricts how you can influence games from the bench.
“With the greatest of respect to people like Charlie Finney and Joel Tabiner, who are learning the game and will become great players for us, it’s just not right for us to expect them to come on and influence games at this level because they are not there yet.”
Keeper Dave Richards is now fit after recovering from a broken finger, but Morris reported that defender Rio Adebisi is still ‘some way off’ while midfielder Charlie Colkett (hamstring) is out for around three months.
He added: “Chris Long is back on the grass but he has lost a lot of weight after being ill. We are trying to feed him up so we can have him available again, because we desperately need him."