CHRIS COLEMAN is desperate to get some transfer business done this week to boost his squad amid fears the New Year’s Day defeat to Barnsley has also cost him Darron Gibson for weeks.

The Black Cats boss cut a dejected figure in the media suite at the Stadium of Light as he reflected on another afternoon when the club’s supporters left nursing a defeat – this time to a relegation rival.

Ethan Pinnock’s 47th minute header – which Coleman described as “unforgivable” for the way it was conceded – proved the difference between the two sides and enough to drop Sunderland back into the Championship relegation zone.

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Coleman is short of options because of injuries and now the transfer window has opened he is desperate to make quick progress – even if it is just for loans. Gibson’s groin injury, which he has been nursing and playing with, has finally worsened and looks set for an extended spell on the sidelines.

“What we have to do is fatten the squad up in numbers and add a bit of quality,” said Coleman. “If we bring that in on top of what we have then we will have a good chance. It will be an important window for us.

“We can’t go and spend money, unless we lose players. It will be loans, we can still be cuter and smart and bring in faces. Nothing is imminent. We thought something was but it has slowed down a little. We have been quite close but we haven’t got it over the line.

“If we sell someone depending on the sale, the price, then we maybe get some money to spend. We will look at two different fronts, loan deals, and if we get cash to spend then who can we spend that on? I will be more confident saying the new faces will be loan deals.

“January is a critical month. We could get one or two back before the end. The next few weeks are huge, we would like to do business at the start of January. Transfers being what they are that doesn’t always happen. It’s a worry. It is what it is.”

Coleman went on to suggest he will not be able to rest players for the FA Cup tie at Middlesbrough on Saturday, such are the injury problems he has. Gibson, who has become a key man in the system being played, is the biggest blow.

The Sunderland manager said: “Darron thinks he has popped his groin, which doesn’t sound good. We will have to wait and see. He will get scanned. If it is what we think, then the perspective is that Lee Cattermole won’t be back for two or three weeks. We will have to get Paddy McNair ready for Boro.

“We have the transfer window and we could possibly bring someone in that position. Darron has pulled strings for us. He was just starting to settle in then that happens."

After the success at Nottingham Forest on Saturday, Coleman had hoped Sunderland could build on that and record back-to-back victories for the first time under him. That would have been the perfect way to start 2018.

Instead he was left annoyed by the manner of the performance, which included Pinnock’s headed goal when he was allowed to move unmarked to meet a Zeki Fryers’ corner that even had the chance to bounce in the penalty area.

Coleman, who also suggested he still doesn’t know if Lewis Grabban will be returning to Bournemouth, said: “It’s a tough one to swallow after the game before at Forest. We felt positive going into it. Barnsley deserved it from the first minutes, they set the tempo a lot, were more aggressive and we looked nervous again at home. Disappointing.

“It is not a great way to start the New Year. We got zero and deserved zero. The goal we conceded was criminal. For someone to take a corner and let it bounce in the box, it was unforgivable from us to let that happen.

“If you are not going to play well, which we didn’t, then you make sure you get an ugly point. We buckled and I didn’t think that would happen after the last game.”