Fulham boss Lawrie Sanchez has promised a summer clear-out after quitting as Northern Ireland boss to take over at Fulham permanently.
Sanchez wanted to combine both roles — but the Craven Cottage board told him to give up his international duties if he wished to be full-time boss.
And he has been rewarded with a pay rise of almost 600 per cent — leaving his £125,000-a-year post with Northern Ireland to pick up a £700,000-a-year salary with Fulham.
Sanchez warned: “We will be competitive in the market place. I know the figures. We will hold our own and more next year.
“It will be a reasonably busy summer for two reasons. The squad is very thin. We have only got 17 players to take to Middlesbrough.
“We need to improve the size of the squad and also the quality. There will be quite substantial changes.”
Sanchez failed to win in his first three games at Fulham after taking over from the sacked Chris Coleman.
He had been pessimistic about his chances of landing the full-time job — until last Saturday’s 1-0 victory over a weakened Liverpool side secured the club’s Premiership safety.
Sanchez’s no-nonsense approach has won him few friends among the players — many of whom were dismayed by Coleman’s axing. But the board was impressed by the new man’s hard-line approach.
Former Norwich boss Nigel Worthington is now favourite to succeed Sanchez as Northern Ireland chief.
Sanchez said: “I’ve mixed emotions. I’m very pleased but have a little twinge about the fantastic job I’ve left.
“It was a very difficult decision but the overriding thing was I wanted to manage at this level. Everyone in Northern Ireland knows that.
“If you are going to bow out then leaving at the top of your Euro qualifying group with the highest ranking ever and new television deal worth £10million could be worse.
“I had to make that decision. If I had to give up one, then so be it.
“If anyone has seen the baseball film Bull Durham, a character in that talks about the reaching ‘The show’. Well, this is the show. I have had 32 days so far and I’ve loved it.”