Gus Poyet has called for his Sunderland team to make it difficult to Emmanuel Giaccherini, Sebastian Coates and Ricky Alvarez to get back into the team.
The three Black Cats first-teamers are all set to be out for around a month and by that time Poyet hopes that the other members of his squad will have blocked their route to the starting line-up.
The Uruguayan boss did, however, admit that it was a blow to lose those three stars for such a lengthy period of time.
“It is not nice because Ricky was getting better and better and Giaccherini was a very, very important piece of our squad for this year," he said to the club's official site, "But the squad need to stand up and players need to come into the team and do well to make sure that when they are back it is going to be difficult for them.”
Sunderland's start to the season has been mixed but a win over Stoke City before the international break has lifted spirits somewhat.
The Black Cats have proven a difficult side to beat for much of the campaign so far, but they are not winning regularly enough to lift themselves away from trouble and that remains a concern.
The loss of three players who are amongst their more high-profile stars is sure to be a blow for the side, too, but Poyet refused to get too down about the situation.
“They are just footballing issues that are going to happen all the time when you are competing, when you are training, when you care and when you put your body on the line, so those ones we have to accept naturally," he said.
When Sunderland return to action after the international break they face a tough test against Southampton, where they will be aiming to make it two wins in a row.