Lancaster City boss Phil Brown hopes to have signed a new striker before the trip to Glossop North End on Saturday.
Brown is looking for more strength in depth up front with former Morecambe man Danny Carlton, who came out of retirement to join the Dolly Blues in the summer, taking time out to rehab a troublesome knee injury.
Carlton, 32, announced he was hanging up his boots in the summer of 2014 but returned to action at Giant Axe in August bringing much-needed experience to the Lancaster squad.
Brown said: “His knee flared up in training and he’s decided to take some time out to help it clear up.
“He’s not officially retired he’s just working to get it better rather than be training one week and then missing the next.
“We’re just giving him the time he needs to get it sorted.
“It’s a blow because he gave us plenty of experience and when he played, whether starting or off the bench, he certainly added to us.
“It means I’m looking to bring somebody in because we need another recognised striker.”
The trip to Derbyshire on Saturday gives City, seventh and unbeaten in seven Evo-Stik First Division North games, the chance to gain some ground on a play-off rival with Glossop currently third, four points ahead of the Blues,
Brown said: “We’re contenders and they are in the play-offs at the moment.
“Every game between now and the end of the season is crucial for teams aspiring to get into the play-offs.
“Glossop have had a good season and are strong at home but our away form has been decent.
“We’ve picked up plenty of points on the road and maybe even put in some of our best performances away from home, especially at places like Ossett.
“We’ll be going there with a positive mindset.”
The 1-1 draw at home to Droylsden on Saturday saw the Dolly Blues slip out of the play-off places but Brown was pleased his side picked up a point, with Billy Hasler-Cregg’s penalty ensuring City’s lead lasted a matter of moments after a Zach Clark header.
Brown said: “In the grand scheme of things it’s a good point.
“It keeps our unbeaten run going in the league and adds to our points tally.
“Droyslden are a decent side, unbeaten in four, so it was never going to be an easy game.
“There never are in this league and we saw that on Tuesday night with Witton drawing with New Mills and Scarborough drawing with Spennymoor.
“It was disappointing not to see the game out after going 1-0 up but there’s plenty of positives and we’re not despondent at all.
“We could have played better but the lads have expended a lot of energy over the last few weeks and you could see it had maybe taken its toll mentally and physically.”
The build-up to the Glossop game on Saturday has been aided by a free midweek with Bill Akrigg battling an infection and Jacob Gregory still having problems with his hamstring.
Brown said: “We’ve got a few niggles so it’s nice not to have a midweek game. “We trained on Tuesday, had a chat and went over one or two things.
“It’ll good to also not be training on Thursday on the back of a Tuesday game because we’ve got a tough game on Saturday.”