John Coleman admits he will have to cope without his captain Seamus Conneely as the midfielder overcomes a groin injury.
The skipper missed Tuesday's 1-0 win over Doncaster and Coleman will be without the 30-year-old, who played the majority of the League Two title-winning games last season, for a short time. Conneely is likely to sit out Saturday's trip to last season's Play-Off finalists Shrewsbury.
“Seamus has had problems in his groin area on both sides and we will monitor the situation,” said Coleman. “It's not as serious as we first thought, we are hoping to avoid surgery, so hopefully he will be back sooner rather than later.”
Newcastle loan player Dan Barlaser has come into the heart of midfield and Coleman has been impressed by the 21-year-old.
“Dan is a good footballer and he will get better the more he is exposed to playing first team football. He needs to add a touch of responsibility into his game and be more aware of the defensive side but that will come.
“We are more fortunate this season as we can absorb injuries in the squad. In the past losing our captain would debilitate us but now we have strength in depth.”