Scunthorpe manager Russ Wilcox says he has "never seen anything like" the club's current injury crisis in 30 years of football.
The Iron boss is without seven of his preferred starting XI, and other squad members are also unavailable.
Scunthorpe are 23rd in League One, with just two wins from 10 games.
Wilcox told BBC North: "You always have to look over your shoulder when you're near the bottom, whatever the level, but the situation is black and white."
|Wilcox on Scunthorpe's start in League One|
|"It's a real tough part of the season, but with backing from the chairman and the supporters, the players and staff believe they can turn the corner."|
He continued: "In 30 years in the game as a player, assistant manager and now manager, I've never seen anything like it, and it just seems to continue. (Defender) Niall Canavan has had an operation on his shoulder this morning, he'll be out for three months, and he's just the latest.
"It's just been one thing after another, right from five minutes in during the first game at Swindon, when we lost (midfielder) Dave Syers for the season, which was a massive blow.
"(Defender) Dave Mirfin we lost in the close season, both goalkeepers are out, (striker) Deon Burton is out - we're putting sticky tape on but it's not quite working. We had three lads making their full debut at Oldham on Saturday, and I'll be honest, we ran out of gas."
Wilcox, who had to make five changes to his starting line-up for Saturday's 3-2 defeat at Oldham, is now desperately looking to recruit - but admits Iron are likely to continue to struggle until the crisis eases.
"We're always on the look-out to add to the squad, but it's a difficult period," he explained. "We've brought in (defender) Shaun Brisley, who made his debut at Oldham alongside Andrew Boyce - I thought those two had solid games.
"Last season was all about consistency, putting out roughly the same team each week with players aware of each other's roles and responsibilities. It's a real tough part of the season, but with backing from the chairman and the supporters, the players and staff believe they can turn the corner."