Simon Grayson's response when asked about Sunderland's transfer budget in January

Sunderland manager Simon Grayson in action during the pre season friendly between Hibernian and Sunderland at Easter Road on July 9, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Sunderland are a squad desperately in need of strengthening in January.

Sunderland manager Simon Grayson in action during the pre season friendly between Hibernian and Sunderland at Easter Road on July 9, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Black Cats boss Simon Grayson spoke to reporters ahead of his side's crunch clash with Bristol City at the Stadium of Light today, a opened up on his plans to strengthen his squad of players in January, as quoted by the Northern Echo.

Sunderland have endured a miserable start to life in the Championship, and currently sit second from bottom, two points adrift of safety, after their woeful return of just nine points from their opening 13 league outings.

Simon Grayson, Manager of Sunderland looks on prior to the Carabao Cup Third Round match between Everton and Sunderland at Goodison Park on September 20, 2017 in Liverpool, England.

Many fans and pundits alike predicted that Grayson was taking on a next-to-impossible job when he was handed the reigns at the Stadium of light, with an already depleted squad low on confidence, and limited funds available with which to improve upon his options.

And the 47-year-old spoke to reporters during his pre-match press conference, highlighting the need for the club to identify potential transfer targets sooner rather than later, as quoted by the Northern Echo:

“It’s all about planning for the future and what we need to do. We don’t want to be having meetings in the middle of December about who is available and targets. The bottom line is that we want to try to improve the squad. We will also do that with the players we have here because we have a good group with quality when all are available. Are there funds available? Time will tell in terms of how much but I think we’ve got a reasonable budget to deal with."

Sunderland manager Simon Grayson looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sunderland and Derby County at Stadium of Light on August 4, 2017 in Sunderland, England.

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The Wearside outfit will be absolutely desperate for all three points today, and embark on a run of victories that helps them climb the table, because after-all, it will be extremely difficult to attract any players of real quality to the club, if they are entrenched in a relegation battle come January.

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