Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill insists he tried to make signings in January.
"We didn't spend in January because the players I had in mind weren't available for the price," he said. "Anybody is available outside the best players in the world. But this idea you can just go and cherry pick, I'm sorry, it doesn't happen."
O'Neill reassured fans that he's aiming to restore Villa's glory days - but it's a long-term task.
"The club is in really good hands," he said. "I don't think everybody thought we were going to sign 19 players in January.
"It's obvious we need to strengthen. In the summer we can strengthen again.
"Even Sir Alex Ferguson said it was the smallest squad we'd had, and his view was we'd done remarkably well."
And he insists he's not bothered by the criticism.
"If someone doesn't choose to believe those reasons, it really doesn't bother me," he added.