STEVE Bruce insists Sunderland won’t be held to ransom as the January transfer window enters its last week.
Kieran Richardson’s goals and Sunderland’s win at Blackpool on Saturday had helped ease some of the immediate pressure on the club to bring in new players.
But the manager was also quick to point out that a fortunate fall of the fixture list means Sunderland could be at full strength for the run-in to the end of the season.
He said: “We need to strengthen, but we’re not going to have our legs lifted by anyone.
“What happens is that, when people think you’ve got a sackload of money, they try and take it off you as quickly as they can.
“We’ll try and add to the squad, but at the moment certain chief executives and managers are trying to take our pants down.
“If there is a deal to be done, we’ll do it, but I won’t be rushed into anything.
“With the points tally we have got and the season we’re having, we don’t have to do anything rash.
“The interesting thing is that when you look at what we’ve got coming up in February and March, we’ve only got six games in that time of the 14 remaining.
“The other eight are all in April and May and by then we should have not only Danny Welbeck and Fraizer Campbell back up front, but also Michael Turner, Lee Cattermole, John Mensah and possibly David Meyler.”
Victory at Bloomfield Road secured Sunderland in sixth place – just a point behind fourth-top Tottenham and fifth-placed Chelsea – and left them six points ahead of seventh-placed Blackburn. But the manager is taking nothing for granted.
He will look to strengthen this week and he was very careful on Saturday not to count chickens.
“Yeah, we’re doing well,” he admitted. “But I always believe in getting January and February out of the way and waiting for the crocuses to come through before I really start looking at the table.
“We’re doing very well and we’ve got a very young and enthusiastic team who have proved very resilient so we’ll see where we go.
“We have players who will be coming back for the run-in and I know Niall Quinn has been extremely busy over the last week with five or six irons in the fire.
“Things have gone well overall for us this season and we just have to try to keep it going.”
Sunderland return to action against Chelsea at the Stadium of Light next Tuesday.