Aston Villa were many people's favourites to win back promotion to the Premier League this season, but their unexpected bad start has left numerous questions being asked.
Over the last two windows, Villa have spent just shy of £80m and Steve Bruce has told the Mirror that he will not be able to throw a similar amount of cash at their current problem.
A crushing defeat to Cardiff and a draw to Hull, has left them 21st in the Championship. The incomings of John Terry, Ahmed Elmohamady, Glenn Whelan and Christopher Samba have clearly not had the impact that Bruce was hoping for.
Bruce expects to have more new faces before the window closes, but not of the same magnitude of Jonathan Kodjia and Ross McCormack.
The Villa manager said: "I’ve said it since the end of last season. I’m going to have to box a bit clever. I haven’t got millions to splash about and, let’s be fair, this club has splashed around millions in the last few years and it hasn’t brought the success everyone thought there was going to be.
“If there’s anything in the kitty from what has been done the last few days then my job is always to try to improve the squad. But I’m under the restrictions of FFP. We haven’t got millions and millions to spend. Part of my job is to balance the books and obviously I’m prepared to do that.”
Last season, their away form let down a potential promotion campaign and has been highlighted further by their recent defeat to Cardiff. Therefore, Bruce has demanded an increase in their away performances.
“If we want to be successful and mount a challenge our away form has to improve. Too often last year we didn’t have the resilience to make a fist of it."
Villa's next game is another away game, against Reading on the 15th August.