Plymouth Argyle boss Ian Holloway admitted that his side missed the influence of injured captain Paul Wotton in the 3-0 defeat at Preston North End.
Wotton will miss the rest of the campaign due to a serious knee injury suffered in the 1-0 win over Hull City, having been a virtual ever-present during the Pilgrims' time in the Championship.
Holloway told the Evening Herald: "It's quite ironic. I have said it before, you are only ever appreciated in football when you are not there.
"Nobody would have wanted Paul Wotton to be out, particularly me, but there you go. It's back to the drawing board."
Wotton is set to undergo surgery on his left knee in the New Year after allowing his injury to settle down.
He has been with Argyle for more than a decade, scoring 62 goals in 430 first-team appearances.