Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes has insisted he has complete belief in the ability of Bruce Anderson to lead the attack.
Anderson was pitched in for only his fourth ever Dons start in the 1-0 loss to Rangers at Pittodrie.
McInnes’s two main strikers, Sam Cosgrove and Curtis Main, were both ruled out for the season opener by injury.
Cosgrove, who netted 23 times last season, is out for 10 weeks with a fractured cartilage and Main has a thigh injury.
McInnes pushed through the loan signing of Ryan Edmondson from Leeds United 24 hours before kick-off as back-up for Cosgrove.
However, Anderson was given the nod to start Aberdeen’s first competitive game in 147 days.
The Dons mustered just one shot on target, but McInnes admits Anderson was left isolated in attack.
McInnes said: “Bruce isn’t six-foot-four, but he is a striker we believe in.
“He has done brilliantly and we have been delighted with him.
“It was a tough game for a lot of our players, particularly Bruce because he was isolated at times.
“Against a different opponent, he might have been able to show more of his qualities and what he is all about.
“I cannot stand here and say I am not going to miss my top goalscorer, a guy who has scored almost 50 goals in two seasons for me.
“It is up to me to find ways to work with what we have got.
“Bruce has done particularly well over pre-season and is certainly someone we believe in.”
England Under-19 international striker Edmondson came on for Anderson with 20 minutes remaining and made his physical presence felt.
Edmondson, who has yet to start a game at senior level, was secured on a short-term loan from newly-promoted Premier League Leeds until January.
Despite the lack of scoring opportunities, McInnes is confident his attacking players will shine this season.
He said: “There were enough encouraging signs for me to show what we are going to be this season.
“We have a good attacking threat, but possibly wasn’t the day to show that.
“But I am pretty sure we will over the course of the season.
“Edmondson coming on gave us a bit more of a physical presence and we started to annoy their back four a lot more as a team.”