Torquay manager Martin Ling has admitted the loss of striker Rene Howe over the Christmas period is a big blow for his side.
Howe was sent off for the second time this season during the 3-1 League Two defeat to Accrington on Saturday and must now serve a four-match ban - starting with the visit of Swindon to Plainmoor on Boxing Day.
In the forward's absence, Ling will be relying on some of the Gulls' fringe players to make their mark on the season, especially with on-loan Billy Bodin unable to feature against parent club Swindon.
"Four games without Rene is going to be a miss for us," Ling told the Western Morning News. "And we're coming up to our busiest period without him and with no Billy against Swindon.
"Were going to find out a lot more about a few players who have been just in behind the first team so far.
"It was a poor performance against Accrington, but we've got to react and get on with it."