Morecambe boss Jim Bentley rued the club’s injury list following Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Notts County.
With James Sinclair out for another few months and Zak Mills finally succumbing to the hernia problem that has dogged him since his summer arrival, it left the Shrimps without a recognised senior-right-back.
It meant they started with a back three of Sam Lavelle, Steve Old and Josef Yarney, with Luke Conlan and Jordan Cranston utilised as wing-backs.
Yarney was taken off in the wake of Kristian Dennis’ opener for County as the Shrimps changed to a back four.
That ultimately earned its reward with Kevin Ellison’s late goal but, having acknowledged his players’ spirit in battling back, Bentley pondered what might have been.
He said: “People will say we should have done it from the off (changed formation) but we’ve missed Zak Mills, who has been one of the better players this season, Andy Fleming was our best player before he got injured, Aaron Wildig scored last week and was injured, Rhys Oates is our joint top scorer in the league and he was out.
“We are missing players and we have to look at it; James Sinclair can play right-back but he’s out for five months.
“We had worked on it (back three) and it looked quite solid.
“Thankfully we got our reward in the end after a spirited, much better performance with and without the ball but it could have been so much better – that’s the disappointing thing.”
Yarney and Liam Mandeville were the first two players withdrawn as the Shrimps sought a response to a flat first-half performance.
Bentley said: “We were going to make a couple of changes but we told the lads they had five minutes to address it.
“We were all over them, there was a great save from Mandeville and then one routine ball into the corner ends as a throw, then a cross and then a goal.
“As a defender, you make sure you keep the back door locked but we conceded – and responded in the right manner.
“We’ve been the better team without a doubt and deserved to win the game.”