Bury boss Kevin Blackwell admits his new-look side are still on a major learning curve after losing 2-0 to Chesterfield at Gigg Lane.
The Shakers are under new ownership after flirting with extinction during the summer and Blackwell has had to build a side from scratch.
Two or three more players could still arrive within the coming weeks.
"They've learned today and every week for the next six to 10 weeks is going to be a big learning curve," said Blackwell.
"We're still two or three players short. I know exactly what they are but we have to make sure we get the right ones or it's going to be a long, hard season.
"Even without those, we've shown we can be a more than formidable outfit in this division. If we'd hit the back of the net, we would have won the game comfortably.
"It always hurts when you lose a game but the club's being rebuilt from top to bottom.
"The dynamics at the club have changed and everyone's really up for it now. Nine weeks ago, the fans would've taken fourth from bottom to stay in the Football League because that's how bad the situation was.
"The team has just been built and the concrete has not even set yet. The club has just come out of intensive care."
Bury dominated the first half and Tom Soares missed a sitter, firing high and wide from all of six yards.
But Chesterfield responded strongly after the break, going ahead when Jay O'Shea cut in from the right flank to rifle into the corner in the 50th minute.
Marc Richards added the killer blow 16 minutes later, finishing a counter-attack with a calm, collected finish.
"It was a game of two halves and Bury is always a tough place to come," said Chesterfield first-team coach Kevin Lynch. "The lads conducted themselves superbly and they got the rewards for the hard work they put in during the first half.
"Full credit to the players because they dug in deep and gave a great account of themselves. It's a good pat on the back for the boys.
"It's important for any club to have strength in depth and competition for places. That's what we've got here and all the lads are champing at the bit to play a part.
"We got two great individual goals. Good players always find time and space to play and we have got good players at this club. We're one team and we're all united and it has to stay that way.
"There will be some disappointments because the gaffer can't pick 16 players, he has to pick 11 but the key message is we stick together and that was shown in our performance."