Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer says he refuses to use his side’s growing injury list as an excuse for their recent slump in form.
The Seasiders have picked up just one win in their last six games in a spell marred by knocks to some of their key men.
Clark Robertson has been sidelined by a foot injury that is expected to see him kept out of action for months rather than weeks.
Meanwhile Kyle Vassell and Jimmy Ryan have also joined Mark Cullen and Jim McAlister on the treatment table in recent weeks.
But, in the wake of Pool’s dismal 1-0 defeat to League One strugglers Northampton Town on Saturday, Bowyer refused to hide behind the injuries and says the rest of his squad have got to step up their game.
He said: “I’m not going to come out here and make excuses on injuries because it happens to everybody up and down the country.
“The players that had their opportunity have got to stake their claim and be better.
“Clark is going to be a couple of months at best, which is a blow for us.
“The way he was playing was terrific so to pick up the injury is really disappointing for him and for us.
“What it does do is provide opportunities for the likes of Will Aimson.
“Jimmy Ryan we’re hoping will be fit for the Portsmouth game.
“With Kyle we’re just going to see how he goes next week before we put a better timeframe on that one.”
The Seasiders were handed another blow at Sixfields on Saturday when Colin Daniel was brought off early into the first half having felt a twinge in his groin.
Daniel seemed reluctant to come off and was visibly angry when he was eventually replaced by Andy Taylor.
Bowyer said: “He just said he felt his groin and with how he was and how he was moving we didn’t need it pinging, so we took him off.
“He just felt his groin a little bit so we’re disappointed with that. I think it was a sensible decision so that he didn’t end up doing long-term damage.”