St Johnstone manager Craig Levein has revealed that a new forward is likely to be his January signing priority.
But he warned that getting players in may depend on moving players out.
“Nicky (Clark) was out for a long time and so was Chris (Kane),” said Levein.
“In an ideal world I’d bring a striker in and maybe a project one.
“I’ve got a clear idea of where I’d like to strengthen but it comes down to other factors as well.
“To strengthen you need money.
“I’ve had a good chat with Gus (MacPherson) about where I feel we could enhance the team.
“As with all these situations there’s maybe a case of moving one or two along to free up some space and some money.
“I’m not in the position where I can absolutely assume I’m bringing in fresh players in January.
“We’ll have to do a little bit of spadework.
“Perhaps we’ll need to get a couple out first.”
Fair crack of the whip
Ideally, Levein would see all his first team players in competitive action before making his mind up on who will be made available for a move out of McDiarmid Park.
But time (and circumstances) are working against that.
“Some players I’ve not seen play and others I’ve not seen train so it’s difficult to give everybody a fair crack of the whip,” said the Perth boss.
“I haven’t tampered much with the team since the Kilmarnock win.
“And I’ve only had one bounce game since I came in as well.
“It’s much easier to watch players and form an opinion in a competitive environment for obvious reasons.
“So it won’t be easy to be absolutely certain about things by January. There will be question marks.”
Levein added: “There are a number of plates spinning just now.
“It’s an important time and we need to get things right.
“Recruitment is really, really important.
“I’ve got an idea of what I would like – positions and potential targets, a bit of both – but that might not transpire completely as I would want.
“I’m hoping things will happen. We shall see.”