New Mansfield Town centre half Ben Turner will not be fit enough to face Notts County in Saturday’s big local derby at Meadow Lane.
So, with Ryan Sweeney now suspended for two games and options limited, manager David Flitcroft looks likely to revert to four at the back.
Turner is close to shaking off the calf injury he arrived with and could be fit for the following weekend at home to Forest Green Rovers.
“We were probably one game away from it working perfectly if Sweeney had got back next week, when we’d have had Ben, said boss David Flitcroft.
“We knew when we signed Ben there’d still be 13 games to go. So it’s not something that worries me.
“It’s just what we do about not having Ryan.
“But when we have gone to another system we’ve done well. At West Brom and Colchester we went 4-3-3, so it doesn’t really bother me.
“We have to come up with the answers and we have a full week to do it. It’s about being flexible.
“If we’d had a Tuesday game and not had this time on the training ground it might have been different.”