Gus Poyet has warned he will quit Sunderland if the club's director of football Roberto De Fanti tries to force him to agree to the signing of players he does not want in January.
De Fanti's position has been scrutinised by owner Ellis Short and supporters in recent weeks because of the poor calibre of players signed over the summer and Poyet has drawn his battle lines as he looks to clear up the mess he inherited from former manager Paolo Di Canio.
Of the 14 who arrived in the last transfer window, only striker Jozy Altidore and winger Emmanuele Giaccherini can be considered first-team regulars, although midfielder Ki Sung-Yeung, on loan from Swansea, and full-backs Andrea Dossena and Ondrej Celustka have also started in the league under Poyet.
Sunderland's aim was to improve the quality of their squad, but De Fanti has failed to do so and Di Canio increased the pressure on him last week by claiming he did not get any of the signings he had wanted before he was sacked back in September.
Poyet will not tolerate a repeat and will only agree to the signing of players he, not De Fanti, believes are good enough to improve the squad.
"I'm sure it's going to be done in the right way; in the common sense way," said Poyet when asked about signing players in January.
"Everyone has a responsibility and then the player has to be the right one for me. If not, I'm not going to accept it. I met with Roberto and Valentino (Angeloni, Sunderland's chief scout) and said what I think we need. They need to give me the options and I need to pick the ones I like.
"We talked about a position the other day and considered four players. I picked two. It was simple. One of the other two was a definite no. If that one is coming, I won't be here."
Successive league wins at home over Newcastle United and Manchester City mean the Black Cats are just three points behind fourth from bottom Stoke City, who they play tomorrow. Poyet, though, still intends to bring new players in.
"I think we need to keep getting better," he added. "People say maybe after Hull, you want to change half of the team and now because you've won two games, you don't want to change anyone. No. I've got it clear. The players who are here have this opportunity, but there are things that I think we need." (© Daily Telegraph, London)