Fulham manager Chris Coleman hopes to use the World Cup as a proving ground for the defensive overhaul he knows must be carried out in the summer.
The Craven Cottage boss has been given the go ahead to bring in new faces and will be looking carefully at how some of the smaller nations – particularly those from eastern Europe – fare in the finals in June.
Fulham have been leaking too many goals for the ex-Wales defender’s liking.
And assistant manager Steve Kean revealed that Coleman’s preferred transfer targets were younger players on the verge of establishing themselves on the world stage.
He said: “We have conceded too many goals this season – 54 in fact. We are giving ourselves mountains to climb, having to score three goals to win a game, even at home.
“We will be watching the World Cup. We have been scouting heavily over the last six months and what we are trying to do is get the player one move before the big move.
“That means they might be a little bit younger as by the time they have moved on to an established club and got themselves 15 or 20 caps they might be too expensive for us, demanding too much in wages.
“We have expanded our links in eastern Europe, which is going to be a good market for us. We will take players from anywhere if they have the right make-up and tick all the boxes.”
Coleman is also likely to show a number of squad players the door, especially those who are on the wrong side of 30.
Kean added: “Two or three might make way for those who are coming in and Chris has said it will be three or possibly four players coming in during the summer.
“The good thing is that the players who do go will be decided by Chris rather than someone coming in and trying to buy our better players.”