Strachanpersuaded loan signing Marcus Bent to stay for another fortnight and handed 19-year-old Jonathan Franks a second start in the FA Cup 3rd round tie against City.
But he lost star man Adam Johnson to a recurrence of his hamstring problem and his replacement Marvin Emnes with a rib injury.
Gordon Strachan: "I have to make some signings.
"It needs to be done because it is not often you get a situation where at a good club, you have to ask somebody to come back for two weeks to you for a favour.
"That doesn't go on at too many clubs, and that's where we are at the moment.
"We have got a 19-year-old who just made his debut last week.
"We need to do something for these young ones, because we don't want to push them too early."