As a result of the coronavirus outbreak at Sunderland, it's impossible to judge Lee Johnson's instant impact since his appointment earlier this month.
Two wins, a loss and the familiar 1-1 scoreline for the Black Cats sum up an eventful first few weeks in charge for the 39-year-old, whose side are understood to be returning to training on December 27th.
With the Black Cats' calendar now even more intense as a result of the recent postponements, the January transfer window surely takes on an added importance.
Obviously, it represents the first window in which Johnson and new sporting director Kristjaan Speakman will work together and could be crucial in their chase for an automatic promotion spot.
Reporting on the matter, the Sunderland Echo have revealed that, while Speakman's long-term remit will be to modernise the club's recruitment strategy, no player will come in without Johnson's approval.
During this window, Johnson will likely play a greater role than usual and is understood to want more pace as he attempts to mount an assault at the top of League One.
GIVEMESPORT's Jonathan Gorrie says...
Obviously, Sunderland have to be realistic and it's at least promising to see they're prepared to do what is needed in January.
Plans to grow a better recruitment plan are much-needed given some of the signings the club have made over the years - even after being relegated from the Premier League - with the likes of Will Grigg and Dylan McGeouch springing to mind.
Still, they face a fight to try and get out of the third tier and have to accept some short-term additions away from their wider plans may be necessary.News Now - Sport News