Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill will spend the next few weeks combining the fight for Barclays Premier League points with the task of looking to strengthen his squad.
The 60-year-old has endured a tough few weeks with Sunday's 2-1 defeat at former club Norwich extending the Black Cats' recent barren run to just two league victories in 22 attempts.
That has left them perched nervously only a point and a single place above the relegation zone and with the fixture list simply increasing in degree of difficulty as the turn of the year approaches, O'Neill knows he will have his hands full.
However, buoyed by a vastly-improved second-half display at Carrow Road he will plot the way forward with one eye on the January transfer window.
O'Neill said: "We've got a really big month ahead and a lot of games - as has every side in the Premier League - so it is tough.
"But it doesn't mean that you shouldn't be thinking of looking at the January market as everybody does. All the clubs in the Premier League will be looking at it.
"If people are very active or inactive, I just don't know, but we will certainly have a look at it."