JAMIE Johnson believes Millwall do not have the resources to effectively scout abroad and must concentrate on "nailing" the talent pool in the United Kingdom first.
The Lions' chief scout says he would be running the risk of missing out on a potential signing that is right under his nose if he spends too much time watching players in Europe.
But Johnson insists he will not hesitate to use his network of contacts to learn more about a foreign star. He told NewsAtDen "We try to open up as much as we can. It comes down to manpower.
"And if you are going to do it, you have got to do it properly. Do I go out and spend three weeks in France but then miss Chris Wood down the road? It's a difficult one.
"We are doing as much as we can on that side of things. We have been to France and Portugal, plus Scotland and Ireland obviously, if you can count them.
"But I have got lots of contacts in Europe from my time at Tottenham so if there's a player out there that I want to know more about, I can always ask.
"I don't think there has ever been someone who we haven't heard of or who our contacts couldn't tell us about. The actual scouting itself in foreign countries requires having somebody there.
"That costs money and is dependent on hiring the right people. It is tough for a club of our size to do that, unless you have trialists in all the time.
"But that can be disruptive. We bring in trialists every now and then but if you have got a continuous flow of them, it can upset the other players and the coaching.
"We are trying but it is a difficult process. You have to nail your own market first and then you can branch out if you've got the budget."
Millwall's scouting department has effectively become a one-man operation since Tim Breacker, who had been watching games in the north, was named as first-team coach last summer.
But Johnson has found ways of adapting to ensure he does not let a potential signing slip through the net. He said: "We've moved things around a little bit.
"It was great to have Tim around for that year – it was really helpful and, because of where he lived, it saved me going to watch the reserves at Manchester United every Thursday.
"What I've done now is I've got two guys in the north who have been around for a number of years. They are good people. That's how I cover things."
Nevertheless, Johnson says the Lions would never sign a player without him scouting them first.
"We never gamble on a player we have never seen," he said. "Definitely not. Never. It all depends on timing sometimes but I personally like to go three times if possible.
"Sometimes you go too many times and start picking people's faults out, which is easy to do. So I think three is about right.
"Sometimes it can be two, sometimes it can be 22. Wood, for instance, I lost count of the number of times I watched him over the years. It's not an exact science.
"I probably watch three specific players a week, but when you go to an U21 game you are watching everybody usually.
"Take Aston Villa's reserves for instance – I know them all now so if there's a new player, I will watch him specifically for 20 minutes."