David Moyes insists he will work overtime to get every last ounce out of his squad for the last 15 games of the season.
The Sunderland boss made a double signing on Monday when he returned to Everton for left-back Bryan Oviedo and midfielder Darron Gibson.
The injury to Victor was the thing which has made things harder for us.
However, transfer deadline day came and went with no 11th hour successes.
The Black Cats were forced to concede defeat in their bid for Leonardo Ulloa after a third and final offer, believed to be £7.5million, plus add-ons, was firmly rejected by Leicester City.
The Foxes had stated throughout that they wouldn’t sell their wantaway forward to a Premier League rival and were true to their word.
“I don’t know whether fruastration is the word but we were trying to add to the squad if we could,” said Moyes, who hinted that his eyes were on other positions until the long-term injury to Victor Anichebe.
“It was always going to be a hard few days.
“The injury to Victor was the thing which has made things harder for us.
“We’ve had to look at things differently.
“It’s not been for the want of trying, some players were couldn’t get.
“And some clubs chose not to sell us their players so because of that, that’s where we are at.”
It means the Black Cats chief has to work with the squad he’s got.
And while he saw his side slip to five points from safety in the Premier League survival fight, Moyes has seen much to “build on” after a battling 0-0 draw with second-placed Tottenham.
Sunderland were forced to show their mettle in a backs-to-the-wall second-half effort though they more than matched their gifted opponents in the opening period.
“What I need to do is to build on the great team spirit we have here,” he said.
“We need to have a toughness and make as many tackles as we did against Spurs in the rest of our games.
“We need to be rugged, at times a bit ugly if we have to.
“We have to maintain this against the better teams at home.”
Sunderland, who had one of the best chances of the night when Fabio Borini shot straight at Michel Vorm, at least moved off the bottom, with Hull dropping to 20th.
Moyes said he was proud of the performance, adding: “Spurs have a great team, they have an array of talent, probably some of England’s best young talent.”