TONY Mowbray has warned West Bromwich Albion fans to be patient in the transfer window as he bids to bring in the players who will help drag the Baggies away from the relegation mire.

Mowbray has already begun to identify targets, most likely to be loan signings, with a predatory striker and a holding midfield player his priorities.

The Albion boss has stated he is looking at promising young talent in need of match experience at Premier League big clubs, or at proven Premiership players who have fallen out of favour.

However, Mowbray is expecting frustrating moments in January as he waits for other clubs to decide whether to release players.

“I am making calls but generally they are putting you on hold,” Mowbray said.

“They don’t know how their own business is going to go and no one is going to let you have players until they have their own house in order, and have their own quotation of strikers, or players in any positions. You are waiting on a piece of string to see how business pans out.

“It is all talk now. People enquire about my players constantly but you don’t do anything with them until you know what you are doing yourself. You are not going to give someone a player out of your squad until you know you have a replacement. That is what football is.

“We are in a food chain and we are asking clubs more high profile than us to let us use a potential player that they haven’t used too much this season. Generally the answers are if they can replace someone in the window then they may look at it. If they don’t replace then it drags on and on, and that is why you get a lot of business done in the last week of the window.

“It is a knock-on effect where someone does a bit of business which releases someone else to move on, you have a scramble at the death of it.”

Mowbray said he may have to be prepared to settle for his third or even fourth choices in January if his initial targets do not come off.

“We have options but whether they come to fruition we will have to wait and see,” he added.

“You can have four or five options and yet the first two or three don’t come off

because those players are not allowed out and you end up taking the fourth option which in some peoples’ minds might not be the best option. That is what sometimes you have to do. I don’t know at the moment which ones will come to fruition.

“All the things we have talked about with other clubs may come to fruition and we might have ins and outs, which make us quite busy, or we could have very little.”

One area of the field Mowbray had been happy with in recent weeks had been his back four but he admits the poor defending during the 4-0 defeat to Sunderland had caused concern.

“It is frustrating because we had done a lot of work with the back four over the past few weeks, as we do with all areas of the pitch,” he said.

“Last week we spent two whole days on defending crosses because we were aware of Kenwyn Jones being in their team and how big and strong he is. That is the frustration.

“It was not as if we went in blind and didn’t know what to expect. We knew they were going to put balls into our box and we spent two whole days on defending high balls.”