Bristol City boss Steve Coppell believes the pre-season defeat at Torquay showed the lack of depth in his squad.
Coppell is without five players through injury, including star strikers Danny Haynes and Nicky Maynard. Captain Louis Carey and fellow defenders Christian Ribeiro and James Wilson are yet to play any part in the pre-season campaign while several other senior professionals are still recovering from old injuries.
"We have got a long way to go to improve. We have got a number of games in a short space of time in the pre-season schedule and perhaps we over-calculated the number of players we would have in the squad at this stage," said Coppell following the 2-1 defeat at Plainmoor.
"We still have a sparse squad. It is not just about me hammering the best XI now, I want to share the load and see what the players can do.
"Torquay played well and we had to defend. We had spells where we played some decent stuff but they weren't sustained enough. When we went 1-0 up I thought we would go on from there but a win is not the be-all and end-all.
"I have got 20 players following all the injuries and we are a little short. That is not making excuses, that is a fact."