Robbie Neilson admits it will be a challenge to replenish his Hearts squad with a striker of the required standard in the upcoming transfer window.
The Tynecastle side are keen to add a forward to complement and compete with Liam Boyce and Armand Gnanduillet.
However, Neilson explained that bolstering his attacking options in January will not be straightforward.
He said: “It’s very difficult to get the level of player we’re looking for in January. We’ll look and see what’s there. If we can get somebody who is going to add quality and value to the squad, we’ll do it but if not, we’re not just going to bring a number in.
“Everyone is looking for a striker in January. Whether we can get one, we’ll wait and see, but we’re definitely looking.”
The recent injury to top-scorer Boyce has highlighted Hearts’ need for a new striker. The Northern Irishman could return to the side against Dundee United on Saturday after missing the last two matches with a calf problem.
Neilson said: “Liam’s a top player, he’s an international player and our top goal-scorer, so we were always going to miss him but it’s part of football.
“When you miss players through the course of the season, it’s up to other players to step up to the plate. We missed him for part of the Dundee game and we missed him at St Johnstone and I thought we played really well in those periods.
“Liam’s a big player for us but we don’t base the team around one player. We’ve got other guys who can come into the system and play it.”
Neilson is hoping his side bounce back to form after suffering their first league defeat of the season at Pittodrie last weekend.
He said: “In the first half we didn’t quite get to the levels we’d have liked but we were still pretty comfortable and went 1-0 up. There wasn’t much in the game and both teams were nullifying each other but then we had a poor 45 minutes.
“We’ve spoken about how we adapt to the different ways a game goes. It’s still a young group we’ve got here and they’ve got to learn how to get through difficult weeks.
“We have to stick to the way we want play. We’ve got players here we brought in to play that way. We need to trust what we’re doing and continue to do it and get better at it. We’re a team that’s still evolving.”