Chris Wilder seems to be concerned Sheffield United can’t sign the quality needed to survive during the January transfer window.
The Blades can bring in new players from January 2, although Wilder has already revealed only loans will be arriving.
The two positions they are targeting are a left-sided centre-back and a creative midfielder.
It’s as United try and turn around the worst start in English top flight history.
Heading into Tuesday’s game with Burnley, they are bottom of the Premier League table with two points from 15 matches.
The introduction of some quality into the squad in the new year is much needed. Yet Wilder doesn’t seem confident that will happen.
“Different football clubs will have different levels of investment, of course,” the Blades manager told Yorkshire Live.
“Not just from a fees point of view, but also in terms of wages.
“I’ve spoken to the owners in terms of bringing a couple of players in. I will always try to improve the football club with the resources that we’ve got.
“But at times it’s a huge gap to bridge.
“It can’t always be done with enthusiasm and with commitment or work ethic.
“Sometimes, it’s got to be done with (signing) quality.”
January transfer window could be crucial for Sheffield United
Wages – or the lack of budget for them – appears to be the main thing holding the South Yorkshire club back.
It’s reported the top earners at Bramall Lane get around £30,000-a-week. This is not only well behind the biggest payers in the division, but also fellow relegation candidates.
United’s recruitment has been questioned since they were promoted, but they are shopping in an entirely different marketplace to everyone else.
There are hopes of bringing in some genuine Premier League quality on loan in January.
Jesse Lingard has been strongly linked. Others in the top flight are also thought to be interested, but the Blades are believed to be most keen to sign the Manchester United midfielder.
Yet his £100,000-a-week wages are a stumbling block. Either they take the financial gamble and pay them, or they stay safe and miss out.
It’s a similar story with Marcos Rojo, another Man United player linked with the club. Sampdoria’s Omar Colley is also a defensive target.
Wilder clearly wants the board to invest more in his team. Otherwise, the 53-year-old appears to suggest they won’t have any chance of at least fighting against the drop.