Paul Ince believes Blackpool’s early-season form has “papered over the cracks” at Bloomfield Road.
Pool sit third in the Championship after picking up seven points from their opening three games.
But they remain short of numbers after a host of summer departures and recent injuries to key players.
Ince has again spoken about needing a further six or seven signings, and the manager expressed the worry that Pool’s form may mislead people into thinking all is well.
The Seasiders boss said: “As much as we’ve had a good start, it can paper over the cracks and I don’t mean that in a nasty way.
“People have called me this week and spoken about how well we’ve done to be so high in the league.
“But I ask them what are they talking about because you can’t talk about being near the top of the table.
“We’ve done well and picked up seven points but we have a very thin squad.
“It’s been a great start but it just papers over the cracks of how short we are.
“The next couple of weeks are going to be a real test for us.”
Blackpool welcome Reading to Bloomfield Road on Saturday looking to extend their unbeaten league start to four games.
But Ince added: “I’m not one of those managers who talks about unbeaten runs. I think in terms of phases of the season and where I want to be in each of those.
“First of all, we need to get to a magic number as quickly as we can.
“Once we get to it, I’ll look at how many games are left and how far we are away from the second phase.
“That’s the way you have got to be in this division.”
Pool’s squad has been stretched to the maximum in recent weeks, with Ince revealing there were a number with knocks to players in last Saturday’s draw at Middlesbrough.
But he wouldn’t want it any other way. Ince explained: “I had about 10 knocks in the dressing room after Saturday, but that’s what it’s going to take.
“I’d hate to have a team sat after the game all clean, with no mud or blood on them.
“I like my players to have cuts and bruises. That’s what it’s going to take to stay in this division.”