David Edgar admits the loss of Sam Vokes for the rest of the season is a bitter pill for the Burnley squad.
But he insists his teammates will have to put that bad news to the back of their minds as they look to clinch promotion in his absence.
Vokes was operated on on Wednesday after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the fourth minute of Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at home to leaders Leicester City.
Burnley, in second place, go to Watford tomorrow holding a nine-point advantage over QPR, with Derby County a further point adrift.
But they take on the Hornets without Vokes, and the suspended Dean Marney, while Danny Ings and Keiran Trippier remain doubtful with injury.
The players are eager to make sure they finish the job, however, to cheer 20-goal Vokes as he begins his rehabilitation, and Edgar - who came in for Vokes against the Foxes, said: “It’s a tough one for Vokesy - a tough one for everyone - but especially for Vokesy because he’s had such a great season.
“He didn’t want it to end like this, but he’ll come back stronger. We know him and he’s got everyone behind him, and with good medical staff here, he’ll be all right.
“It’s been a bitter sweet season now, but he’s got a good head on his shoulders and he’ll be okay.
“Obviously it’s a blow but we’re a team and we have to move on.
“Whoever steps in is capable of doing a job.
“Touch wood we’ve been lucky with injuries for most of the season so hopefully nothing else sneaks up on us.
“It’s part and parcel of the game though and we just have to move on.”
The defeat to Leicester - a first home league setback in 24 games - and the loss of Vokes has added to some fans’ anxieties as the finishing line draws near.
Wins at Watford and Barnsley on Tuesday night would go a long way to dispelling any nerves, but Edgar isn’t looking beyond tomorrow: “There’s pressure in every game.
“Watford’s a tough place to go and then there’s another tough one on Tuesday at Barnsley. They just come thick and fast.
“We want to end the season on a high but we’re taking it one game at a time.
“Obviously we’ll be without Vokesy now and it will be a tough one because he’s done very well this season, but we’ve just got to move on and hope to get the three points at Watford.”
Burnley aren’t dwelling on the loss to the leaders, which has been firmly put into context, as Edgar explained: “The gaffer showed us some stats and some clips and said the league table tells us that Leicester are the best team in the league.
“They’re the team to come and get the first win at Turf Moor. Nobody likes losing obviously - we haven’t had to experience it much this season, but we just have to move on and put it behind us.”
Edgar was thrust into the action early on, as a holding midfielder, in only his third appearance in four months, and he admitted: “It’s a tough one, but it can go either way.
“We’re prepared anyway whether it’s early in the game .
“The result was disappointing, but It was good to get back out there and get a decent chunk of playing time under my belt.”
Edgar, who is out of contract in the summer, would like to extend his five-year stay at Turf Moor, after arriving from Newcastle United in the summer of 2009.
But he isn’t thinking about that yet - he is just focused on trying to round off a remarkable season in style for the club: “I love it here but I’m not really thinking about that at the minute, there are a lot of games coming up and whatever happens, happens.
“It’s in our hands and I’m just thinking about Watford if called upon.”