Paul Ince has been warned that he will need to bring in up to five new signings if, as expected, he is handed the manager's job at Macclesfield Town this week.
The Silkmen are eight points adrift at the foot of the League Two table following a run of just four draws and four points from their 14 opening games, leaving them staring Conference football in the face.
Ian Brightwell has been in caretaker charge since Brian Horton was sacked on October 1, but he has failed to buck the trend with two league defeats and a 1-0 home reverse in Tuesday's Johnstone's Paint Trophy first round clash against Stockport.
As a result the Silkmen board are hoping former England, Manchester United, Liverpool, Inter Milan and Middlesbrough star Ince can spark a revival in fortunes.
However, following the Stockport defeat, Brightwell revealed whoever gets the job has a mountain to climb and requires fresh faces.
He said: "Whoever takes the manager's job will need to make four or five new signings."