IAN GREAVES admitted the next two games were crucial to Town’s top-flight survival hopes after Stoke’s 1-0 win at Leeds Road.
The defeat, sealed by a late penalty by Terry Conroy, left the Terriers 18th, just three places above the drop zone.
Next up were 20th-placed Nottingham Forest, two points behind, at the City Ground and second-bottom Burnley, five points behind, at home.
The Stoke loss was Town’s fourth in five league games, and Greaves’ side, who were finding it hard to score, had won just once in 12.
The clamour for a new signing was increased as both Forest and Burnley went into the market.
Nottingham chief Matt Gillies, who with his own side out of action, watched Town v Stoke, had splashed out £150,000 on forwards Peter Cormack (Hibernian) and Neil Martin (Coventry).
Meanwhile Turf Moor chief Jimmy Adamson paid Lancastrian rivals Bolton £60,000 for their 20-year-old goal-getter Paul Fletcher.
“We need someone who can score goals,” accepted Greaves. “But the more we look around, the fewer there seem to be available at a sensible price.
“We’ll keep searching, but there will be no panic, because we are creating chances – we just need to put some of them in.
“The spirit within the club is tremendous, the players are giving everything and we will fight tooth and nail to climb that table.”
It was Town’s fifth meeting of the season with Tony Waddington’s Stoke, who had finally won the FA Cup fourth-round tie between the pair 1-0 in a second replay at Old Trafford.
Having won 3-1 at the Victoria Ground in the league, they had to cope with fierce Town pressure in the return, watched by 15,626.
England keeper Gordon Banks made top saves from Frank Worthington, Bobby Hoy and Geoff Hutt, who conceded the 80th-minute penalty.
The left-back palmed away John Mahoney’s shot, and while keeper David Lawson got a touch to Conroy’s kick, he couldn’t keep it out.
Second-placed Arsenal were unable to make up ground on out-of-action leaders Leeds as they lost 2-0 at Derby while Tottenham lifted the League Cup by beating Aston Villa 2-0.