Bruno has called on Albion to bring the squad back up to strength during the rest of the January transfer window.
Kazenga LuaLua has been ruled out of the game as well by a minor hamstring injury, leaving head coach Oscar Garcia down to the bare bones in filling the bench.
Right-back Bruno, speaking prior to news emerging of LuaLua’s setback, said: “Now for us it’s difficult because we have less players. Adam has gone, Ash has gone.
“We have Crofty injured and we need players there. We are seeing a lot of teams signing really good players and maybe we need to.”
El-Abd and Barnes have been sold, to Bristol City and Burnley respectively, while Crofts is out for the season with a cruciate knee liagment rupture sustained in last Saturday’s 1-0 home win against Birmingham in which LuaLua played a starring role.
Albion have made two signings so far in January – Jonathan Obika borrowed from Spurs as a striker replacement for Leroy Lita following the expiry of his loan spell from Swansea and Preston prospect Jeffrey Monakana.
The 20-year-old winger, snapped up on a development contract, has more first team appearances behind him than forward George Barker, who was also sold earlier this month to Swindon.
But Oscar has lost a wealth of experience in the shape of El-Abd, Crofts and Barnes. Oscar said: “It’s not easy because all of them were important players for us but we have to look forward. We cannot stop here and start crying. We have other players here that want to play and help the team.
“We obviously want to bring in some new faces, for me as soon as possible, but the club is working on a list of targets and we will see what we can do.
“I think it’s an important period. You can see most of the teams are signing players and we want to also but we have to think about a lot of things beforehand.”
Read Bruno's views as the steely defence take on sharp-shooting Derby in The Argus today - part of our five-page match preview
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