West Ham manager Sam Allardyce feels "frustrated" by the club's inability to strengthen their squad in the transfer window.
With the Londoners sitting in the Premier League relegation zone after a run of just two wins in their last 15 top-flight outings, Allardyce has only been able to bring in Wolves defender Roger Johnson on loan so far in January.
Allardyce has also seen interest in Monaco striker Lacina Traore come to nothing, but the former Newcastle United boss remains desperate to recruit new players.
"Frustrated is an understatement in the amount of deals we've tried to do in the last six to eight weeks," he said on Monday.
"There are very few deals happening across the board at the moment because it's difficult to get the right players at this time.
"Later in this window things generally get a bit easier in financial terms, in that clubs want to move the players on.
"That's why you get a flood of deals in the last few days of the window.
"Our need is to produce a really good signing that can hit the ground running and have an impact right away."
West Ham will need a miraculous comeback to turn around a 6-0 deficit against Manchester City in the League Cup semi-final second leg on Tuesday.
Ahead of match at Upton Park, Allardyce is hopeful the continued recovery of record signing Andy Carroll can help his side salvage some pride from the tie.
"It's about playing a competitive game of football tomorrow and trying to win it. We're playing for pride and we want to play well," he said.
"Hopefully we can give Manchester City a really tough game tomorrow night.
"We have a couple of players coming back from suspension, which is good, and there'll be more minutes for Andy Carroll too.
"Every game as we go along Andy's getting closer to full fitness. We have to be patient in increasing his game time."