Chris Coleman admits he is not looking forward to the January transfer window.

“It is four weeks of madness and I don’t like it very much,” he admitted.

“We will try to get one or two players in ourselves because we have a pretty thin squad, but it works the other way as well.

“We know there will be plenty of bigger clubs breathing down our necks for our top players and it can be pretty disruptive. I’ll be glad when it is over.”

Coleman has had to fight tooth and nail to maintain the quality of his squad after chairman and owner Mohamed Al Fayed all but blocked transfer spending.

Coleman looked certain to lose Portuguese winger Luis Boa Morte to Newcastle at the start of the season when the Magpies made a new bid for the former Arsenal and Southampton player.

But Coleman pulled off a master stroke by awarding Boa Morte a new contract and making him captain.

Newcastle have seemingly reset their sights on Senegal midfielder Papa Bouba Diop who has become one of the star turns in London, while French ace Steed Malbranque’s current contract runs out at the end of the season.

Coleman said: “We have no great worries about Papa. He has two more years left on his contract but we have started talks with him about extending it and there has been an encouraging response.

“It is the same with Steed. All I know with him is that we have a fit, talented, very committed player on our hands and we’re confident he’ll put his name to a new deal in the next few weeks.”

Boa Morte is out of Fulham’s trip to Middlesbrough on Sunday after collecting five cautions this season, while American defender Carlos Bocanegra and Danish midfielder Claus Jensen are missing through injuries.

Coleman added: “We are a bit short but still have enough to go up there and get something. Middlesbrough are playing in the UEFA Cup next week at AZ Alkmaar and that might be an advantage to us.

“After that we face Bolton who also have UEFA Cup commitments and it’s a chance to string some wins together.”

Fulham go the Riverside after impressive home wins over Liverpool and Manchester City but with bitter memories of last season’s clash with Steve McClaren’s side who scored a highly-controversial stoppage-time penalty to pinch a 1-1 draw.

Coleman was left seething at referee Rob Styles and was rapped by the Football Association, but said: “How can I say I wouldn’t react again to a decision like that? It wasn’t even debatable.

“It is an emotional game and I live every match with my heart in my mouth but that penalty made escaping relegation twice as difficult for us last season and this season we want to be in the top 10. For us that would be a great year.”