Dave Carter admits his best-laid Moneyfields plans have been dashed by the loss of Scott Donnelly.
The Dover Road manager swooped to lure Donnelly and team-mate Duncan Culley from Hayes & Yeading earlier this summer.
They were his marquee signings designed to boost Moneys' Southern League division one south ambitions.
Both players impressed in the pre-season friendlies.
Moneyfields beat both Leatherhead and Tonbridge Angels - and the pair played a key role.
Donnelly displayed all his experience gained from playing at a higher level.
The ex-Hawks attacking midfielder, however, announced his departure the week before the campaign started.
He stated personal reasons which has seen him move back to Uxbridge as the reason for his untimely exit.
Carter conceded his departure threw his opening-game preparations into chaos.
'The problem is that we set up and did everything with Scott Donnelly in the team,' said the Moneys boss.
'We were playing a certain way because of that.
'Scott is 31 years old and quality on the ball in midfield, although not the best defensively.
'Him leaving us the week before the season has killed us.
'We had to find a different way to play and it has all been a bit sloppy.
'It is fair to say that we are still licking our wounds
'In our first two games we had to put square pegs in round holes.'
Moneyfields lost their opening league game 1-0 at Bideford and drew 1-1 at home against Thatcham Town on Tuesday.
Carter could suffer a further blow because there is also some doubt regarding the commitment of Culley.
The striker pulled out on the morning of the curtain-rasier with a groin strain and missed the Thatcham clash through work commitments.
With Steve Hutchings suspended for another three games Moneyfields have been forced to play Ryan Pennery as a lone striker.
The youngster worked hard against Thatcham and helped set up the goal but he will benefit from the return of Hutchings.
Moneyfields are in derby action at AFC Totton tomorrow before Cinderford Town visit Dover Road on Saturday (both 3pm).