Alex Neil makes Sunderland striker admission

Alex Neil says he is hopeful that Sunderland's striker search will pick up pace as Premier League teams return from their pre-season tours.

Sunderland's lack of options up front were underlined as Ross Stewart was rested for the 2-0 defeat to Bradford City on Tuesday night.

Nathan Broadhead and Troy Parrott are two players the Black Cats have been tracking who have been abroad with their parent clubs in recent weeks.

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“I’m naturally concerned by the fact that we’ve currently got one centre-forward in the building," Neil said.

Alex Neil watches on at Valley Parade

"There is a lot of work going on behind the scenes to try to make sure we remedy that. That situation hasn’t changed over the last few weeks.

"I’m not standing here saying everything’s terrible because we’ve only got one centre-forward – we’ve had discussions with regard to who we’re going to try to get in, who we’re speaking to, how we’re going and where it is. But as I’ve said before, we need to talk to other teams, and then it becomes a question of are they going to let players out on loan, are they going to sell them, what are they going to do with them?

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"Unfortunately, for us, that’s not our decision. We can’t dictate when we get hold of those players. Naturally, I want them in just now. But you’re not always in control of that situation.

"I don’t want to do my business on the last day in August – I want to get my business done as quickly as possible. But as I say, the simple fact, unfortunately for us, is that we’re not on control of that.

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"There’s a lot of teams at the moment, certainly from the Premier League, that are only just coming back from trips abroad. You can’t sign a player if he’s in a different country.

"There’s been ongoing discussions with numerous players, from different clubs, and the minute we get something across the line, which I can assure you we want to get done as soon as possible, then everybody will be made aware.

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"At certain times, though, that process cannot get speeded up by what we’re trying to do. We’re banging the door down as much as we can."

Neil also hinted that he was looking for another goalkeeping addition.

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“We need to strengthen in a whole host of positions," Neil said.

"Jacob's [Carney] a young lad, he’s inexperienced, but I think he will become a good goalkeeper.

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"We as a group are inexperienced. Even a lot of our older lads, they haven’t played at the level we’re going to. That carries its own risk, but equally, it’s quite exciting in that they might go there and do really, really well.

"We don’t actually know how we’re going to perform.

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"Performances up until tonight have been really promising. Unfortunately tonight, we didn’t perform as well as we can, but that can happen. We’re not going to play well every game.

"What I will take away is the bit of disorganization towards the end, but I think players want to show how much it means to them. "That’s alright in League One because they turn the ball over so much, but when you go higher up the levels, that disjointedness damages your team.”