Lincoln City are facing a desperate injury crisis this weekend which looks set to derail their early season form.
The Imps have so far claimed one win out of their opening games, but have been competitive in their defeats against big-spending Newport and Cambridge.
However, any hopes of them being able to continue this progress were dealt a major setback with news that five players are out injured.
Rob Duffy (ankle), Peter Bore (groin) Adam Smith (hamstring), Jamie Taylor (thigh) and goalkeeper Paul Farman (knee) are looking unlikely for Saturday's Blue Square Bet Premier home clash against Macclesfield at The 12th Imp Sincil Bank Stadium.
Manager David Holdsworth is surveying his options, but admits he is being realistic about the chances of bringing in extra bodies in the face of a heavily restricted playing budget.
"This is a heavy blow, but it is a tough test for us," he said.
"We have got to be practical about it and try to manage with what we have got and the size of the problem."
Despite the loss, Holdsworth is remaining positive and believes that the character of his side will not be knocked by the number of absentees.
"I'm delighted with the players that I have got. We've got a great team spirit and the mentality is fantastic," he said.
"There is a togetherness in this squad which is first class and that has been reflected in the performances."
Holdsworth has had to be cautious with his players in training this week, conscious that he is running short of bodies to make up a squad.
However, he has been casting his eye over possible recruits to be drawn in with forward Mo Farfana and midfielder Ashley Dunn on trial at the club this week.
Dunn has played for Fleetwood and Witton Ablion, while Farfana has been plying his trade in Sweden.
"I'm not going to sit on my hands and not do anything," stressed Holdsworth.
"We're going to look at alternatives, but it all goes down to the budget as to what we can afford.
"I'm realistic and I know what I have got to work with, so we just carry on.
"I know whatever happens this weekend the team will go out committed and determined to get results against Macclesfield and Gateshead."