Ronnie Moore will look to the emergency loan market this week to bolster a Hartlepool United squad hit by fresh injuries and suspensions.
Pools are now without all three right-backs for the next few weeks thanks to Carl Magnay’s red card in Saturday’s 2-1 League Two defeat at Wycombe.
Magnay – who can also operate in midfield – joins the injured Michael Duckworth (hamstring) and Sunderland-born Jordan Richards (back) on the sidelines after getting his marching orders for violent conduct.
It has left Moore desperate to bring in defensive cover when the loan market re-opens on Wednesday, ahead of this weekend’s trip to Exeter.
“Right-back is a problem now,” said Moore.
“It is a position we will look at and if we can do something about that when the window opens, then we will get that done for this weekend.
“Carl could be out three games and we are missing Ducky – it’s a position we have to look at and see if we can do anything with it.
“I have been looking at midfielders too.
“I think we need something else in midfield – we need some pace in there, a box-to-box type, whether we play in a two or a three.
“Woodsy [Michael Woods] and Nicky [Featherstone] are a bit similar in there together, with their movement and appreciation of the game so we need something different.”
The loss of Magnay for three games is a huge blow to Pools, the former Gateshead utility man has been one of the star performers.
Magnay was red-carded four minutes from time after needlessly getting involved in a tussle with Wycombe sub Ryan Sellers in front of the home dugout.
The versatile 26-year-old, filling in at right-back, flung Sellers to the floor in a move that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a wrestling ring.
Scott Harrison and Harry Worley enduring a tough afternoon at the centre of defence, Moore describing the defending for Wycombe’s goals as “astonishing”.
Dan Jones at left-back was also out of sorts, as Gareth Ainsworth’s side took full advantage of some sloppy defending to maintain their unbeaten start.
Both goals came from long balls that were not dealt with by Harrison in the first instance and then Worley, with Jones not tight enough to Michael Harriman who curled in his second of the match to seal the win.
Moore vowed: “We will be in all week, no days off, morning and afternoon while we work on shape and the like.
“We have a full week to work with the defence.
“We don’t want to go through what we did last season, we have better players this time and we have to prove we are a better team.
“I don’t want to be – and this club shouldn’t be – going through what we did last year, but we have to get the back line right again and tighten up.”
Billy Paynter saw a header cleared off the line when Pools trailed 1-0 before Magnay’s fine equaliser two minutes before half-time.
Magnay, Nicky Featherstone and Rakish Bingham were all involved before the latter played in the full-back, whose scooped effort was deflected over the head of keeper Matt Ingram.
Wycombe: Ingram, Jombati, Donacien, Rowe, Jacobson, Harriman, Bean, O’Nien, Banton (Sellers 75), Thompson, Hayes (Kretzschmar 62). Subs not used: McGinn, Bloomfield, Lynch. Booked: Harriman. Goals: Harriman 26, 56
Hartlepool: Bartlett, Magnay, Worley, Harrison, Jones (Oyenuga 69), Oates (Smith 80), Woods, Featherstone, Carroll, Bingham, Paynter (Fenwick 58). Subs not used: Nelson-Addy, Hawkins, Boyce, Denton. Sent Off: Magnay (86). Booked: Woods, Bingham, Oyenuga. Goal: Magnay 43
Att: 3,468. Ref: Darren Deadman (Cambridgeshire)