Aston Villa manager Remi Garde has admitted his side are a shoo-in for relegation unless they can sign at least two new players in January.
The Frenchman is yet to win since replacing Tim Sherwood in November and Saturday's 3-1 defeat at fellow strugglers Sunderland was his fifth loss as Villa manager. And Garde admitted something needs to happen quick to change the club's destiny.
“I’m going to try [to sign players]," he said. "In life and football you have to believe – if you don’t you have no chance.
"But it’s more and more difficult. But every season in every league, a side can keep losing and suddenly win four, five or six in a row. But for that probably we will need to bring in one, two or three new players.
“Today I didn’t see a side who didn’t give everything they could. When you concede so many goals it’s difficult to win games.
“You cannot be positive when you lose. I’m not here to lose – I’m here to try to make the team win. Today we were so close. We didn’t play badly. I can blame my players in certain situations – when you concede a goal, it’s always from a mistake.
“I see a team who wanted to fight. But we need some quality.”
After the game Garde refused to shake the hand of Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce and the Frenchman revealed he was annoyed by Allardyce's failure to acknowledge him before the game.
He added: "I would have preferred that Mr Allardyce came to me before the game and say, 'Hello'.
"I found it quite easy (for him) to come after the game and say, 'Well done'. It’s just a sign of (being) welcome but I don’t want to do too much (about it). I was upset probably by the result, but that’s it.
"It’s a big disappointment, like every defeat. "I’m not fed up, to be fair. I’m just trying to do my job as best as possible, every day, every minute.
"But like my players I’m very disappointed. Once again we played not so badly. We created some opportunities but, like every time, we need to be more efficient.
"You cannot say that the confidence has grown with this kind of result, but when we still have life in front of us we must believe."
The defeat leaves Villa 11 points from safety at the bottom on the league with just eight points from 20 games. Up next for the relegation favourites is a brief break from the madness in the form of an away trip to Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup.