Simon Grayson has admitted Sunderland are operating on a 'lesser budget' than their Championship rivals after being in a 'dark place'.
The Black Cats boss says the club has been 'mismanaged' over many years and are now having to cut their cloth accordingly on the transfer front.
Grayson was appointed manager this summer after David Moyes resigned following Sunderland's relegation from the Premier League.
So far, he has brought in James Vaughan and Jason Steele for around £500,000 each, Everton winger Aidan McGeady for £250,000 and two loan signings from the same club, Brendan Galloway and Tyrias Browning.
He will complete a deal for free agent goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter later today, meaning six players will have been added to the squad at a cost of £1.25million, while the Black Cats have so far recouped close to £40million from the sales of Jordan Pickford, Vito Mannone and Fabio Borini.
Grayson, speaking to BBC Five Live, admitted: "It's common knowledge there isn't a great deal of money to spend.
"It's a decent enough budget, but it's still way short of a lot of clubs who are in and around us at this moment in time.
"You only have to look at the players we've brought in so far that none have been significant signings where the rivals who have come down have spent a huge sum of money.
"What I'm trying to do, between myself and the chief executive Martin Bain, is to try to get this club some sort of stability again, where we don't have to do it for millions of pounds, that you can do it on a lesser budget.
"We are trying to bring some pride back in the football club because in the last few years it has been in a dark place and mismanaged on many fronts."