OWLS boss Dave Jones is challenging his forwards to show that one of them can step into the gap left by Michail Antonio.
Jones regards Antonio’s injury as a blow that could mean an opportunity for somebody else.
His remarks will be aimed at men such as Jermaine Johnson, Gary Madine and Chris Maguire.
Jones’ exploration of the loan market will go hand in hand with scrutiny of his own players. He told The Star: “We’ll only get someone in if we can get what we want; if we can’t, we’ll go with what we’ve got.
“Somebody might get an opportunity they didn’t think they were going to get.
“Players who have been on the fringe of the team have to stay strong; if they haven’t then they’ll regret it when an opportunity comes along.
“Anybody who has moaned about not being in the side now has to step up to the plate.”
Jones will analyse his players’ capabilities and efforts in training as well as monitoring the loan market.
He is not ruling out signing two players, with Antonio’s groin injury having followed the return to Sunderland of Connor Wickham. Jones has already made unsuccessful inquiries about “one or two” players and has found that in some cases clubs do not want to make decisions on letting players go on loan until closer to the deadline a week tomorrow.
In the current 4-3-3 formation, Jermaine Johnson looks the obvious internal candidate to replace Antonio, but Madine and Maguire would be options in a change of tactics.
On Antonio, Jones said: “It’s a blow to lose anybody from the squad. The priority is to get him ready for pre-season.”