Port Vale manager Michael Brown has admitted the club are in a relegation battle after a poor run of form.
The Valiants are without a win in 2017 and sit just two points off the relegation places.
Brown told StaffsLive: “The second I took this job I made it quite clear we are in a difficult circumstance and the window did not help us one bit. We were supposed to add on top of what we had, instead we ended losing players after that.”
He has confirmed centre half, Remie Streete is out for between four and six weeks with a knee injury, after coming off injured against Millwall in the week.
Brown was left frustrated by the transfer window, after failing to bring in cover at centre back.
The Valiants boss called it an “unusual injury” for Streete, with the defender damaging a ligament at the back of his knee, though despite previous worries, he did not suffer a fracture.
Brown said: “It is disappointing, though we feel Remie has got away with something that could have been a lot worse, after the original diagnosis we feel we’re slightly fortunate. We are extremely disappointed to break a partnership between Streete and Smith who I feel have done ok.”
“It is a big big blow, we knew we were very light in that department, we tried to get other centre halves in the window but we could not for particular reasons”
Brown will turn to Kjell Knops to step up in place of Streete, ahead of their fixture at the weekend against Bristol Rovers.
He said: “I have got some players for cover in regards to making sure we had some covering positions. We have to air on caution when we are looking at the players we have brought in and the young boys and what we have had to spend as a football club.”
“Bristol Rovers have a good set up and are a hard team, earlier on in the season we did very well in the first half against them but had a poor second half, it will be a tough game.”
Winger Jerome Thomas is a doubt for the match after being injured all week, and has only resumed training this morning.
(Additional reporting by Hattie Harrison)