Martin O'Neill admits Sunderland are desperate for striking reinforcements

Swansea's Danny Graham is at the top of the wish list

Sunderland boss Martin O'Neill will spend the final few days of the transfer window desperately trying to land striking reinforcements.

The Black Cats' need is pressing with Fraizer Campbell having left the club for Cardiff, Ji Dong-won having joined German side Augsburg on loan for the rest of the season and Louis Saha looking for pastures new after having his contract cancelled by mutual consent.

Swansea's Danny Graham, who could line up against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light tomorrow night, is at the top of O'Neill's wish-list, and with time running down, efforts to plug the gaps in their front line are gathering pace ahead of Thursday's deadline.

The Ulsterman has studiously declined to identify his targets for the January window, but asked if it was fair to assume his attacking resources are the main focus, he said: "Of course, of course it is.

"There was always interest in Fraizer and we said we would prefer him not to go, if that was the case, until we had got someone else in.

"I felt this was a big opportunity for Fraizer. He didn't want to disappear and so I allowed him to go.

"But I am hopeful that something will develop for us. We have got a couple of days left and we are hoping ourselves that we can add somebody else to the squad if at all possible.

"We are still looking there because come February 1, that's it. But we will see what we can do.

"There are some days left here and we will try to do something about it. I am hopeful, but there's nothing guaranteed."

O'Neill's pursuit of Gateshead-born Graham has been well-documented, but the issue is complicated by Norwich's interest in the player, and the fact that Swansea are reportedly reluctant to sanction a move for him until they find a replacement.

Former Black Cat Kenwyne Jones, currently plying his trade at Stoke, is understood to be in their sights.

But as the club attempts to push home its interest in 27-year-old Graham, who has scored seven goals so far this season, there are contingency plans in place with the manager admitting he would rather not negotiate the second half of the season without strengthening his squad further.

O'Neill said: "No, I would like to try to improve it if we can. It's not always that easy, but we will try to do it.

"If we are left with this [squad], then we would have to try to manage it as best we can, but I am still hoping we can do something."

In the meantime, Sunderland will attempt to build upon an impressive run of form which has seen them win five of their last eight Barclays Premier League games to climb into 11th place in the table, nine points clear of the relegation zone.

A disappointing FA Cup third round exit at the hands of npower Championship Bolton aside, that has provided them with a platform to look upwards rather than over their shoulders.

O'Neill said: "That's important for us now, we have got to try to, if we can, push on. The games coming up are very important for us.

"This game against Swansea and a couple of days later, we play Reading - these are all important matches.

"We have got some points on the board just recently, which is good. Now I want to try to press on if we can."

That may be easier said that done tomorrow night as Michael Laudrup's men arrive on Wearside still basking in the glow of their progression to the Capital One Cup final.

O'Neill said: "It's been an excellent season for them so far. They will start strong favourites against Bradford, despite their heroics.

"It just seems to have been a seamless transition from the manager [Brendan Rodgers] leaving to go to Liverpool to Laudrup coming in and doing exceptionally, so it's been good news for them all."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks