The hugely encouraging transfer update Alex Neil had for Sunderland supporters this morning

Alex Neil has hinted that Sunderland are closing in on reinforcements to their squad.

The Black Cats boss said earlier this week that he 'couldn't knock on the door any more' as he looks to add the four or five players he feels he needs to keep his side competitive over the course of a long Championship season.

On Friday morning he said things were now 'moving in the right direction'.

And while he says it is 'inevitable' that Sunderland will have to be active in what he has previously described as the 'supermarket sweep' in the final days of the transfer window, he is now hopeful that some key business will be done before that point.

Sunderland boss Alex Neil

Club officials have been in talks over a deal for Costa Rican winger Jewison Bennette, but the 18-year-old is one of numerous targets as the window enters its final stages.

Neil is in particular still eager to sign another striker, and needs more defensive cover.

"It's not changed in terms of our need for reinforcements, we've talked about needing more from the start of the window," Neil said.

"We do need to recruit.

"For us, we will be recruiting, I'm very confident that we'll have players in sooner rather than later.

"We know the job that we've got to do.

"It always is hectic at the end of the window, but what I will say is that I'm hopeful that we will get a couple in before the sweep at the end.

"Things are certainly moving in the right direction. We'll see how we go.

"We most certainly will be here [late on deadline day]," he added.

"It's inevitable, for one position and potentially two depending on what we're looking at.

"You can't control the window, because it's a domino effect. Unfortunately what's happened is we've picked up a couple of injuries which make things worse, but we know what we're doing and I'm hopeful of getting a few things across the line shortly."

Neil had cut a frustrated figure earlier this week as the efforts to add reinforcements went on, but added this morning that he understands the difficulties of recruiting in the current market.

"I'm only human, and the difficulty I have is I want transfers done now," Neil said.

"But that's not just how it works. It's not about frustration, it's just that you know for example if we had more players in for tomorrow's game, we've got a better chance in it.

"So sometimes that manifests in me looking or sounding frustrated - I just want to win, to do the best I can.

"We're working extremely hard, we're having conversations on a daily basis. We're in the same situation we've been in, but I think things are moving forward positively and we're hopeful that we can try and get a couple of bits of business done.

"We know our budget and it’s about utilising it the best we can. At the moment, those deals are happening as quickly as humanly possible.”