In an ideal world Chris Coleman would like to get his January transfer business done early with the Sunderland boss wary of “rushed” deadline day business.
But the Black Cats boss admits it is “impossible” to predict how Sunderland’s January business will go as there are so many factors up in the air.
Coleman, hopeful of adding up to five new players, has already admitted outgoings will define the business he is allowed to do and he has varying shortlists for incomings depending on who leaves the club.
In terms of incomings, loan signings are likely to dominate cash-strapped Sunderland’s business.
The need for struggling Sunderland, third-bottom in the Championship, to improve the squad is at the forefront of Coleman’s mind.
Ahead of the trip to Nottingham Forest, the 47-year-old said: “We have been linked with a lot of players. I won’t speak about individuals as they belong to other clubs, it would be disrespectful of me to do that.
“We are trying to bring in players plural and to help what we have already got.
“The transfer window being what it is, you like to get things done early but it is impossible to say that is going to happen.
“We really don’t know whether we will lose anyone and time will tell. The window can be very important, it can change your life in a good or a bad way.
“We have to keep our fingers crossed that we come out the back of it saying ‘yeah, that was good business’ and that we have some reinforcements to help us.
“It is always dangerous, doing a last minute deal on deadline day, a rushed deal.
“Sometimes you don’t know what you’re going to get and can get in trouble. You want it done as early as you can so you don’t run into trouble.
“For more than one reason we want it done as early as we can but a lot of the time you can’t dictate that.
“Everybody is scrambling for players. It will be interesting, no doubt.”
Sunderland head to the City Ground, quickly followed by the home New Year’s Day clash with Barnsley, on the back of the bruising Boxing Day 3-0 defeat to Sheffield United - a defeat that again highlighted the desperate need for January recruits.
Coleman added: “We were always looking to try and improve on what we have got, no matter where we are in the league.
“If you are where we are, then it would be stupid of me to say we are not looking to try and bring in some new players. We are, of course, we need to, to help us out.
“The Sheffield United game was the first game where I have come off thinking we have completely missed that game of football, we weren’t competitive enough.
“You can’t swallow that, myself and the players need to take responsibility for that.
“It was a big disappointment. It has to burn and hurt and drive us on against Forest. These two games there is such a quick turnaround, you are relying heavily on your squad.
“We are going into it with nine unavailable but we still have to find a way to make sure it is a positive experience to set us up going forward.”