McLeish has been told by the Al Hasawi family that he will be given the backing he needs in the transfer market to help deliver the Kuwaiti owners' dream of Premier League football.
The Scot's intention is to put both permanent deals and loan agreements in place before the January transfer window closes, and he is optimistic there could be at least one new arrival at the City Ground this week.
"We have not sat down to discuss things, but the most important thing for me is choosing who goes on that pitch and who comes into the club," McLeish said in the Nottingham Evening Post.
"I have a clear idea of who we want. We want to remain prudent, in terms of the club, and make sure we only bring in players who will make us better. We are not talking about £5million fees or £30,000 a week wages.
"What do we need to win promotion or get to the play-offs, to go up automatically? I don't know. But I think we need four or five, if you include a couple on loan."
Forest have this month had offers for Peterborough forward George Boyd and Birmingham winger Chris Burke turned down and McLeish has previously stated that he will return with improved bids for both players.