Boss Ian Evatt believes one of the supporting cast could step forward to play a starring role for Wanderers as they look to overcome their injury problems.
Top scorer Dion Charles has not yet been counted out of Saturday’s home game against Peterborough as he’s given as long as possible to recover sufficiently from a shoulder problem to face The Posh.
But the Whites have picked up further injuries to supplement those that kept Carlos Mendes Gomes, Paris Maghoma, Zac Ashworth and Joel Coleman out of last weekend’s loss at Reading.
George Johnston remains a long-term absentee and has been joined on the sidelines for one-match by the suspended Eoin Toal.
That has stretched Evatt’s squad, but the manager isn’t looking for excuses as he keeps his fingers crossed over the availability of Charles and offers chances to others to rise to the challenge of getting the Whites back into the top six.
“Dion is still very much up in the air,” confirmed Evatt in his pre-match press conference. “We know the joint isn’t damaged, which is probably the most crucial bit of news, but there is damage with the ligaments that hold the joint in place.
“The results of the scan were positive. But it’s still damaged and there is still pain there and we’re going to leave until the very last moment to make a call on that.
“It’s been a rough week or so with injuries. We’re really fortunate that I believe we’ve got a really strong squad of players because I don’t believe any other squad in this division could cope with the amount of injuries we’ve had all at once.
“It’s tough, but when you know your journey and you believe in your journey these things don’t affect you. We’re just full focus and ready to go again.”
Charles was injured when he fell awkwardly at Reading when looking to add to the six goals he has scored so far this season.
Any absence for the Northern Ireland international would be felt, while Evatt will be forced into a defensive change against Peterborough after Toal’s dismissal for two yellow cards against the Royals will keep another key man out of the side.
“Football is a game of opportunity and when you do have injuries it gives people opportunities to step up,” Evatt added. “I’ve said to them ‘if not you, then who?’ and they have to have that mindset. They have to grasp it with both hands.
“Last season we had a lot of injuries around this time and it unearthed Eoin Toal. Eoin really stepped up to the plate and hasn’t looked back since. There are opportunities for players to come in and stake a claim.
“I get the feeling this period, now, when we’ve got so many injuries, it could unearth someone else to really kick on and do the same thing that Eoin did last season. Regardless of what team I pick on Saturday, I do believe it’s strong enough to win the game.”