Portsmouth manager Steve Cotterill's selection issues have been hampered further by the contractual problems surrounding Richard Hughes and Michael Brown.
Hughes was omitted from the squad which visited Norwich on Saturday as he is near to triggering an automatic appearance-related contract extension, while fellow midfielder Brown is in a similar position.
Financially-stricken Pompey cannot afford the salaries, meaning Cotterill's already threadbare squad appears set to be stretched further still in the coming weeks.
"Sooner or later, people are going to know," Cotterill told The News.
"At the end of the day, there is a clause in Richard's contract that if he makes more than one more appearance for us, a new contract kicks in on pretty much the same wages that he's earning.
"The worse thing about it is that we will have another one in Michael Brown. He is now one game away as well and a named substitute would have counted as an appearance for either of them.
"I'm going to need Richard in the coming weeks because Michael will be in the same situation. They have got one appearance left each and I don't want to use them up as substitutes because I need them as starts because of the size of the squad we've got. It's poor, really, but that's where I am."