Lee returned to his first-team duties this week after a period away from the club recovering from COVID-19 but has walked back into a depleted squad with Pools still short on numbers.
In Lee’s absence, assistant manager Michael Nelson was only able to name five substitutes in the defeats to Rochdale and Swindon Town and Lee has revealed upon his return to training earlier this week he had just 12 players available to him.
“It’s been frustrating. I’ve never known as many injures or people dropping back and forth out of the squad,” said Lee.
“I think we’ve got 21 players in the squad which is a squad I probably looked at going forward for next season of outfield players and we’ve just been decimated and it just makes you sit back and think about your planning going forward next year.
“I think I had 12 players. I came back in on Monday this week and on Monday and Tuesday I had 12 and 13 players fit and other people dropping out.”
Pools were without defenders Gary Liddle and Neill Byrne for last week’s defeat by Swindon with midfielders Bryn Morris and Nicky Featherstone also missing out.
Joe Grey has missed the last three games with a groin injury and Lee has revealed Mark Shelton and Joe White have picked up injuries ahead of the trip to the Sands Venue Stadium.
But despite the lack of numbers, Lee wants to see more fight from his players following their defeat to the Robins last time out at the Suit Direct Stadium.
“As much as we keep saying we want to enjoy these games, lads have to work hard,” said Lee.
“They’ve got to go out and win first and second balls and no matter what team we’ve got available, or what team I put out there, it’s the least I expect for them to go out and fight for every ball.
“We need to end the season with some positivity.”