St Etienne coach Ivan Hasek has for the first time admitted his side are missing striker Frederic Piquionne.
Piquionne was the subject of intense transfer speculation in January as he bid for a move to Lyon.
Les Verts were unwilling to allow the French striker to join their rivals, but Piquionne eventually joined Monaco on deadline day.
Since his departure, St Etienne have struggled, failing to win in three games this month, including a 3-1 defeat to Rennes last time out.
Hasek feels St Etienne are lacking Piquionne in attack, but also hit out at his side's defending recently.
"I don't want to use the Piquionne departure as an excuse, but of course we miss him up front," Hasek said.
"Nevertheless, his departure allowed others to play - it is up to them to show their qualities.
"It is a shame against Rennes that we had six or seven opportunities and we only scored once. It is not enough.
"And we conceded three goals, and that is really too many! Every player has to participate more in the defensive game."