THE credit crunch looks to have scuppered Jim Harvey's hopes of bringing coach Michael Knowles to Forest Green.
Former Morecambe man Knowles had looked the prime candidate to become Harvey's assistant at the New Lawn following the departure of Jamie Pitman.
The 34-year-old even sat in the dugout during Rovers' last home match, a 4-1 defeat by Ebbsfleet United, but budget restrictions at the Blue Square Premier club mean Harvey is struggling to land his man.
Unlike Pitman, Knowles' playing days are now behind him due to a catalogue of injuries.
Harvey said: "The club would prefer to bring in a direct replacement for Jamie, which means someone who can play a few games as well as do the coaching.
"I had hoped to have someone in place by now, but I'll just have to explore other avenues – I understand that money is tight."
Harvey has bolstered his injury-hit squad with the signing of ex-Newport County midfielder James Simpson, 19, who came on as a substitute in Saturday's scoreless draw at Northwich Victoria.
But the sending off of Lee Fowler in Cheshire has stretched Rovers' resources even further ahead of the visit of Stevenage Borough this weekend.
Although hopeful that Alex Lawless (hip) and Curtis McDonald (ankle) will return to training this week, Harvey remains on the lookout for a versatile and experienced player with coaching credentials.
A short-term solution could be Torquay United's Michael Brough, the former Forest Green captain who has been made available for emergency loan.
But Harvey is unlikely to go back for a player who turned down a new contract offer in the summer and is on bumper wages at Plainmoor.
l FAMILY tickets will be available for this Saturday's clash with Stevenage Borough at the New Lawn, priced £30 for two adults and two under-16s.
They can be bought from the club shop, located under the main stand, and will be available on the day until kick-off at 3pm.