David Moyes is concerned by his failure to significantly add to his Everton squad ahead of the 2009/10 campaign.
The Everton manager, who has rejected bids for Joleon Lescott and Louis Saha this summer, knows he is in a race against time to bring in new players ahead of the club's Europa League play-off tie against Czech side Sigma Olomouc later this month.
The two-legged clash will dictate whether or not the Toffees have a season of regular European fixtures and the income that brings, and Moyes admits he needs to act now to reinforce his squad ahead of the first leg at Goodison Park on August 20.
Moyes said: "We are not ready as far as the squad goes, we want more players in. We let a few go in the summer - Andy van der Meyde, Lars Jacobson, Nuno Valente - and we have not replaced any of those players yet.
"If we want a run in Europe we need more players quickly. The search goes on, it has never stopped all summer and I am feeling a bit demented with it all now!
"Apart from a couple of clubs, the transfer activity around the country has been limited. But for us, to have finished fifth and reached a cup final, to improve on that costs a lot of money.
"But we don't have that money. So trying to find players who are cheap, don't want much wages and will come here to improve us, well, it is not easy.''
So far, Moyes has only brought in Brazilian striker Jo on loan from Manchester City and a clutch of untried youngsters who will be in the reserve squad.
He remains hopeful of a positive outcome in his bid for Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos, although the clubs are believed to be still some way from agreeing a fee.
Moyes said: "We have a good team but what we do not have is back-up, and that is what we are trying to get. The bid for Senderos has been with [Arsenal] for a while now, and maybe it is getting closer.''
Moyes saw a much-improved performance from his players on Friday when Everton beat Malaga 2-1 at Goodison Park, with Manchester City target Lescott playing the full match and getting a rousing reception from home fans.
And it seems Moyes might have won the battle to retain one of his prized assets.
His stubbornness not to be pushed into a deal for the defender - selected again in the England squad for this week's friendly with Holland - looks to have paid off.
It is believed Everton chairman Bill Kenwright has held further talks with City and told the Eastlands club the Toffees do not want to sell to one of their direct rivals in the battle to claim a Champions League berth.
And Everton's reluctance to part with their big-name players was underlined when Moyes recently rejected an £8m bid from Turkish side Besiktas for Saha.
Moyes said: "Louis is someone we had a big bid for. But he didn't want to go and we didn't want to sell. It's great news Louis wants to stay.''