Alex Neil insisted the onus is on other members of the squad to step up to the plate and fill the void left by Louis Moult.
The Preston striker was stretchered off in the first half in the 3-2 defeat at Swansea City with a serious-looking knee problem.
He underwent a scan yesterday to discover the full extent of the injury, although Neil admitted “it’s not looking good” for the 27-year-old, who looks to have sustained cruciate ligament damage.
The injury blow is a real pity for Moult and the club as he had begun to show some good form in recent weeks.
After missing out on selection for the opening game of the season, Moult was on target as North End got their campaign up and running with a resounding victory over Wigan Athletic at Deepdale last week. The former Motherwell man was leading the line well on Saturday as PNE led the Swans 1-0, until he turned awkwardly and crumpled to the floor.
“We will cope but whether the lads who come in and replace Louis will do as well as him in the games that he played, we will see,” said Neil.
“He played last week which was his best game for quite some while and we were hoping to try to get him a run in the team and see what he can do.
“Unfortunately for him and for us, he’s now injured.
“The onus is now on the other lads to come in and take responsibility and take their chance.
“Louis was not in the squad the week before, but I just wanted to give him an opportunity to see how he did.”
Neil opted to replace Moult on Saturday with loan man Andre Green instead of Jayden Stockley, who was also on the bench and available.
It may well be that Stockley will get the nod for the visit of Stoke City to Deepdale on Wednesday night.
Neil did reveal that he is likely to juggle his squad in any case as North End prepare for three games in seven days – they host Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday in the Championship and entertain Hull in the League Cup the following Tuesday.
“I just felt that when Jayden comes into a team, we naturally go much more direct all the time,” said Neil.
“In that first half at Swansea, we were dominating the ball on the floor and I felt that Andre would give us more of a threat in behind.
“I actually thought in the first half Andre did very well, but second half we struggled in general.
“At half-time though I was pretty pleased with Andre and the decision to bring him on.
“I think we may certainly look to change it.
“It all depends on how the lads feel and how they are performing, but we will certainly look at it for the next game.”