Aston Villa skipper Olof Mellberg will be a welcome sight when he returns after suspension against Blackburn Rovers this Saturday evening.
But, despite being made to operate behind a makeshift back four in last Saturday's 1-0 win over Portsmouth, goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen still insists that the contribution of his team's fringe players should not be underestimated.
"Although we don't have the biggest squad in the Premiership, we have got some versatile players who can play in different positions," he said.
"Whenever the fringe players have been called upon, they've done really well.
"But you want to have your full squad and, of course, Olof is a good player, who is important to us. To have him back gives competition for places, which is good.
"Our performance against Portsmouth wasn't one of the best but there were plenty of positives. We won, everyone below us lost and we kept a second successive clean-sheet, which we haven't done too often this season."
Admittedly, it was a bonus for manager David O'Leary to be able to recall Freddie Bouma ahead of schedule after injury at left-back but he still had the untried part-nership of Aaron Hughes and Liam Ridgewell to worry about, and things were not made any easier by the early loss of Jlloyd Samuel, who took just 20 minutes to succumb to a sickness bug.
"We had lots of problems at the back going into the game," said Sorensen. "But Aaron did well to overcome his injury and the defence did well.
"It was also important for me to talk the defenders through things, because new partnerships take time to come together. But all the defenders did well and, although I had to make a couple of saves, that's why I'm out there."
It also took Villa that step nearer the 40-point mark, which will give O'Leary's men a psychological lift ahead of the forthcoming week ahead in Lancashire.
Saturday's 5.15 kick-off at Ewood Park is followed seven days later by the trip to Good-ison Park to face Everton, with arguably the biggest of three successive away games in between when Villa take on Manchester City at Eastlands in their delayed FA Cup fifth-round replay.
If Villa beat City, that would leave them only two days to recover following the trip to Everton before a home-quarter final on the Monday night against the winners of the Bolton-West Ham replay. But Sorensen insists that, if Villa keep on getting results, it will not be a problem.
"There is a big incentive with a home tie in the next round and, although that means playing Saturday and Monday if we get through, the players won't mind," he said.
"The players will play any-time. It is a strain on the body but it is the same in the Christmas period and we came through that unbeaten.
"First, we have to think about Blackburn. We've been strong away from home, we haven't lost for a long time and are due a win.
"It is a tough place to go but, in the past, we have had success there and, following on from Saturday, why shouldn't we get a result there?" n Tuesday night's postponement of Villa's reserve-team clash with Leeds United has caused a slight delay in Patrik Berger's comeback bid.
Berger will now have to wait for next Wednesday's visit of Everton to the Bescot Stadium to get the chance of 90 minutes of football.
He is expected to be joined in midfield by youngster Craig Gardner, who is set to play for the first time since injuring his knee on his first Premiership start against Newcastle United last month.