Neil Lennon is facing a three-fold headache ahead of a welcome week away from football for Bolton Wanderers - with a striker shortage, an injury build-up and he side's woeful form giving him a multitude of problems to solve.
News broke this morning that Emile Heskey will face up to six weeks out with a calf injury, leaving Wanderers with just one recognised first-team striker after Zach Clough was sidelined for several months in midweek and with Max Clayton still on the comeback trail. Unfortunately, that one striker is Gary Madine, who has failed to score a single goal in nine appearances this season.
This means Lennon is left - in his own words - with no option but to go out and get a striker, any striker. The Bolton boss told our friends at the Bolton News:
"Given that we’ve lost Emile now we need to do something as soon as we possibly can. In fact, we may need to change our thinking a little and bring in someone with a little more physicality.
"Will I have to make snap decisions? Probably yes. I need someone now."
The range of choices available to Lennon seems limited, as we discovered as we racked our brains trying to think of a replacement on this week's LOVpod, so it'll be interesting to see who he can bring in to the club. Rumours have linked us with the likes of Gary Hooper, James Wilson and Kyle Lafferty, who are all unlikely to feature for their Premier League sides this season but either have high wage demands or will have plenty of competition for their signatures.
Lennon laid into his side after the abomination at Huddersfield, and it was interesting to see him call the side 'lightweight.' The one thing that Madine should bring is physicality, yet he even failed to deliver that at the weekend, which has likely prompted Lennon to step his striker search up a notch today.
Aside from the obvious striker problem, Lennon also faces yet another injury crisis with a host of first-team players sidelined. In addition to Heskey and Clough, we are also without Dorian Dervite, Darren Pratley and Oscar Threlkeld, with Clayton and David Wheater, along with new boys Francesco Pisano and Jose Manuel Casado, edging closer to match fitness.
Wanderers have already suffered 13 injuries after just over one month of the current campaign, following on from the injury nightmare that was last season - during which at one point we had 16 first-team players all injured. This begs the question of why on earth we are getting so many injuries, which is something we have all tried and failed to answer time and time again.
Lennon now has one week to work with the squad and eradicate the dire showing at Huddersfield from their memories, as well as ideally bolstering the squad with a loanee or two ahead of a tough looking clash with Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday.
What are your thoughts on Bolton's injury crisis and who could we realistically bring in to get us the much needed goals? Let us know in the comments section below.