Paul Tisdale feels he could be at a point with his Exeter squad where changes need to be made after a 2-0 home defeat to Southend.
With no money to spend and his squad under contract, it could present a great opportunity for the youngsters at St James Park.
One of those, 17-year-old second-year scholar Matt Jay was handed his full debut against the Shrimpers and Tisdale was delighted with his performance.
"We can't make signings, that is not something we are going to do, I need to look at players making strides within the squad," he said.
"I made a decision to play Matt Jay because I think he deserved to play and he was wonderful. I thought he was our best player in the first half. He got his selection off the back of his performances in training and Under-21 games and he did extremely well."
First-half goals from Cauley Woodrow and Kevan Hurst did the damage for promotion rivals Southend as they inflicted a third successive league defeat on the Grecians.
Tisdale added: "We were dreadful in the first half. We were 2-0 down and the players gave it a go, but that's not what we want to be doing every week.
"I think we are at a point now where we have just lost three league games in succession and we need an assessment of how we are playing, how the players are performing individually and maybe it is time I need to have a look at things."