Neil Warnock compared business in the January transfer window to "climbing a mountain with butter on your hands" as Cardiff City's frustrations persist.
The Bluebirds are holding their own in the Premier League this season, despite being widely tipped for relegation back to the Championship, but Warnock is keen for help in the form of new arrivals this month.
No deals have yet been forthcoming and, as he addressed the difficulties he has faced in recent days, Warnock is facing up to the fact that he may have to "continue the miracle" with his current squad.
"Things change all the time. It's the worst window ever, January, for any manager really," he told a news conference.
"There's that many agents, I had one player last week recommended to me by five different agents. Who do we deal with? They're all telling me that they represent him, that they're his number-one agent.
"[January business] is like climbing a mountain with butter on your hands. 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. That is why you have to say, 'Right, we don't get any players in, we have to get points with what we have got and continue the miracle'."
One failed deal which Warnock has publicly voiced frustrations about saw Nathaniel Clyne depart Liverpool for Bournemouth on loan instead of Cardiff.
But despite Clyne's explanation that he wished to work with Cherries boss Eddie Howe, Warnock took no offence.
"If I had a choice of going to Bournemouth and Cardiff, I'd snap their hand off for Bournemouth," he said. "To work for the manager there or here, I would snap their hand off for Bournemouth.
"I don't blame Nathaniel at all. I just feel, if a phone call from him or Liverpool had come in, I probably would have had three more targets on loan that I could have got which I didn't use because I already thought I had used up my second loan with Nathaniel."