David Moyes says his Sunderland side are down to the "bare bones" and need to strengthen before the end of the transfer window.
The Black Cats lost their opening Premier League fixture 2-1 to Manchester City last week, and followed that up with a 2-1 loss to newly-promoted Middlesbrough at the Stadium of Light on Sunday.
Moyes had to make do without central defender Younes Kaboul this weekend, after he sealed a switch to Watford in midweek, while John O'Shea was withdrawn in the first half against Boro with a groin injury.
Wantaway defender Lamine Kone, meanwhile, reportedly picked up a back injury ahead of this clash, and has subsequently been axed from the squad by Moyes after rejecting a new deal as he seeks to engineer a transfer.
After the match, a disappointing Moyes told talkSPORT: "It wasn't an easy game for us because of the nature of our team.
"Our intensity in the game was terrific, but we couldn't keep it up in the last 10 minutes because we had so many young players who were making their debut and Steven Pienaar, who didn't play a game in preseason, had to come in too.
"We're down to the bare bones, really.
"We've lost one of our centre-halves and we don't have many, and we've lost a few players to injury.
He added: "We need to add to the team and we'd like to do that. We'll attempt to get people in."
Moyes also revealed he expects his side to be in a relegation battle this season after fans expressed their fears for the club this term.
He continued: "Well, they would probably be right because that's where they've been every other year for the last four years, so why would it suddenly change?
"I think it will be, I don't think you can hide the facts, that will be the case. People will be flat because they are hoping that something is going to dramatically change – it can't dramatically change, it can't."