Sunderland boss Steve Bruce knows the January transfer window is not the ideal time for strengthening the Black Cats squad. Bruce is looking for a cure for his team's away-day troubles, with the Black Cats having picked up only one point on the road since the opening day of the season.
"Whether you can get the right players in and the right value in January always seems to me to be very, very difficult," said Bruce.
"The good teams and the big teams don't necessarily want to lose their players, especially if they're playing in Europe or having good seasons or relegation issues.
"So I always think it's difficult to get what you want. Certainly, if we can improve the squad I'm sure we'll be looking, but with my experience with it, in January in particular, it's usually very difficult.
"I don't want any more repeats of what's happened away from home. But we are striving and I do believe we're taking good steps forward to push the standards higher.
"The expectations at Sunderland and in the North East are always huge, but we've got to deal with that. There's been 15 games played and we've only been disappointing in a few of them. I've been very, very pleased with a lot of our performances."