Rotherham substitute Kieran Agard's header 11 minutes from time extended his side's winless run in all competitions to six games on Saturday and left them one place and point off the bottom two.
And even with three games to go until the transfer window opens, Ardley is already thinking about what his team needs to drag themselves clear.
He said: "Safe to say we need to do some work in January. We're working really hard on that, as well as on the training pitch.
"We're not looking at individuals; we're looking for a particular type of player that can give us leadership. I don't want to mention positions but we need pace and leadership.
"We need players who know how to win games, and maybe that little bit of experience. They're not easy to come by.
"When you do, you've got to ask the question, do they want to come down into League Two and join a relegation fight?
"So, as much as we think getting players in might be easy, it's not.
"I can assure you, as soon as I get off that training pitch, my work doesn't stop."