Cardiff boss Neil Warnock has voiced his frustration over transfer window inactivity and compared deal-making to “climbing a mountain with butter on one of your hands”.
The Bluebirds have suffered a difficult January window so far with moves to land Liverpool defender Nathaniel Clyne and Nice midfielder Adrien Tameze ending without success.
Warnock also made another visit to France in midweek to watch Nantes striker Emiliano Sala for the second time in a month, but he admits it is unlikely that the Argentinian will be heading to south Wales.
“It’s like climbing a mountain with butter on your hands,” Warnock said ahead of the crunch relegation battle against Huddersfield on Saturday.
“One day you think you are almost there and then you slide back down.
“You get your hopes built up. People say ‘yes, that’s a done deal’ and all of a sudden the next day it’s not a done deal.
“You have to learn to live with that really.”
Warnock branded Liverpool a “disgrace” and accused them of lacking class after missing out on the signing of Clyne.
The England full-back opted to join Bournemouth on loan for the rest of the season, with Warnock saying he had discovered on television that his former Crystal Palace player had chosen the Cherries.
The veteran manager claimed he was “promised” the right-back on loan by the Reds, but his attitude over Clyne has softened in the week after the shock FA Cup defeat to Gillingham.
“I know I got criticised for saying that about Liverpool and Clyne, but all I needed was a phone call to say he is going to Bournemouth,” Warnock said.
“If I had a choice of going to Bournemouth and Cardiff, I’d snap their hand off to work for the manager (Eddie Howe) there.
“I don’t blame Nathaniel for going there at all, they are a great club and they are established.
“You can’t blame the fans (for wanting signings), but all of us have to be patient.
“If nothing happens, so what? I won’t be losing any sleep with the squad I’ve got.
“We’ve done it before and we’ve had a great time.
“I’ve got to give them a team that’s got to scrap and get enough points to stay up. They can help me with that.”
Cardiff entertain Huddersfield one place and two points above the relegation zone.
Warnock’s side are eight points better off than bottom-placed Huddersfield and Terriers manager David Wagner has described it as a “must-win” game from his perspective.
“I don’t think it’s the same for us as them, but I understand his sentiments,” Warnock said.
“When you play teams in the bottom half of the table, they are all must-win games really.
“This one is no different. What they have done in the last three years has been phenomenal and we are trying to do that.”