David Moyes has said he will look for players who can make an immediate impact in the relegation fight, even if long-term planning remains a priority.
Moyes made no substitutions during the 3-1 defeat to Stoke City as the club's selection crisis was laid bare.
The Black Cats have an entire XI of senior professionals unavailable through either injury of African Cup of Nations call-ups.
Sunderland's trio of internationals in Gabon could be away until mid-February, and while some of the injured players are slowly returning to fitness, Moyes is likely to have to continue with a depleted squad for the near future.
Only three of his substitutes at the weekend had Premier League experience; Joel Asoro with just one cameo off the bench to his name.
Moyes has not ruled out moving for players who can boost him in the immediate future.
He said: "We want to try to get additions who can help us stay up first and foremost ,and also players who we think can hopefully be at the club for a while.”
Sunderland have been linked with a move for veteran centre-back Phil Jagielka, who played for Moyes at Everton. The 34-year-old is out of favour at Goodison Park and has been linked with a possible swap deal involving Lamine Kone, who Everton tried to sign in the summer.