Sunderland are set to complete their first signing in Johnson’s reign tomorrow when midfielder Carl Winchester completes his transfer from Forest Green.
But Johnson knows it’s higher up the pitch that Sunderland’s needs are greatest.
“It is always the case that we are confident [signing] is near, ”he said after Sunderland’s draw against Hull City at the Stadium of Light.
“It takes a little longer than I expected to mark the i’s, but I still think it will happen.
“I think we need something else.
“I think we need a change of momentum in a certain area of the pitch, although I don’t want to go any further.
“This will be the part that is going to be the hardest for us – because of the financial leeway that we have or don’t have, or that we may have to create, and also because of the backlog of various injuries that we have.
“For me, this one will be important. ”
Johnson has already spoken about the possibility of signing young players on loan from Premier League clubs, and that is still something he is considering.
He said: “We are trying very hard [to recruit].
“We have lists on lists on lists, but they have to be available, accessible, affordable and responsive, otherwise what’s the point in signing them?
“There are so many games that if it takes them a month to get in shape, they will miss nine games.
“Obviously, they are not easy to obtain.
“Either you take a chance with a young puppy who hasn’t played and is at Premier League level or you try to recruit someone on a permanent which is difficult for us due to the safety margin of the salary cap.
“But you don’t get a job when you’re at the top of the league and absolutely stealing, so we have to scramble during that time and we’re ready to go.
“If we can’t get anything then we’re following what we’ve got and maybe we have to try Lynden Gooch in the nine-and-a-half role and get goals from him in that area. I thought he did well there today. ”