Sam Allardyce insists Sunderland “won’t panic” in the January transfer window - with targets already lined up.
The Black Cats boss has revealed the club will only bring in the “right” players who are hungry and determined enough to make an instant impression in the first team.
It comes as Allardyce’s close friend Phil Brown revealed Sunderland are lining up “really big names” ahead of the window opening.
West Ham centre-back James Collins, Spurs winger Andros Townsend - who has recently fallen out with boss Mauricio Pochettino - and £7million-rated Olympiakos full-back Arthur Masuaku are being tracked by the Wearsiders.
Brown turned down the chance to become Allardyce’s Number 2 at the Stadium of Light but the pair remain close.
Allardyce is keeping his cards close to his chest, though, ahead of the window, with clubs not yet ready to reveal which of their players are available for transfer.
“We can’t really get on with planning [for January yet],” Allardyce told the Echo.
“Nobody is going to say whether they’re letting anyone go or not yet.
“Well, there might be one or two upset managers who have blown players out, that you feel you might be able to give an opportunity to.
“So when they come to you, they are really hungry and determined to prove the previous club wrong.
“We’ll all work together and go for the right players.
“We have to see what we can all come up with really.”
Allardyce and sporting director Lee Congerton – who remains in his role at the club – are only in the early stages of their planning but what they won’t do is panic buy, insists the manager.
Experienced Allardyce added: “It’s a case of using the agents in the best possible way at this time of the season.
“The agents have only got four weeks to earn their money, don’t forget!
“Then it’s up to you whether you take them or not.
“What you don’t want to do is panic.
“If it gets to the last two days and end up taking someone for the sake of it...God, the amount of times I’ve done that!”
And Southend United boss Brown believes Allardyce will be given the financial backing in January to turn the situation around, with Sunderland 19th in the Barclays Premier League four points adrift of safety.
“Sam will get his opinions and philosophy across but he still needs to bolster the squad too and he will have his targets lined up,” revealed Brown. “The January transfer window is going to be important, he has one or two injuries. “He needs to get to the window still in with a chance. One you get detached it is a horrible place to be and you become whipping boys. “He will get to January still intact and bring one or two really big players in.”