The Black Cats' need is pressing with Fraizer Campbell having left the club for Cardiff, Ji Dong-won having joined German side Augsburg on loan for the rest of the season and Louis Saha looking for pastures new after having his contract cancelled by mutual consent.
Swansea's Danny Graham, who could line up against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light, is at the top of O'Neill's wish-list, and with time running down, efforts to plug the gaps in their front line are gathering pace ahead of Thursday's deadline.
The Ulsterman has studiously declined to identify his targets for the January window, but asked if it was fair to assume his attacking resources are the main focus, he said: "Of course, of course it is.
"There was always interest in Fraizer and we said we would prefer him not to go, if that was the case, until we had got someone else in.
"I felt this was a big opportunity for Fraizer. He didn't want to disappear and so I allowed him to go.
"But I am hopeful that something will develop for us. We have got a couple of days left and we are hoping ourselves that we can add somebody else to the squad if at all possible.
"We are still looking there because come February 1, that's it. But we will see what we can do.
"There are some days left here and we will try to do something about it. I am hopeful, but there's nothing guaranteed."
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- Fraizer Campbell