Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers has explained how working with Jose Mourinho in his early career has helped him become the manager he is today.
Rodgers, who became the Blues' youth team manager and later reserve team boss after being approached by the Portuguese tactician, successfully led Swansea to the Premier League last season, with his side impressing both pundits and fans alike with their fluid style of play.
Asked whether he is still in touch with the controversial Real Madrid manager, Rodgers admitted that he does speak to the 'Special One' from time to time; but is keen to show his faith in his own managerial prowess.
"Obviously when you get the chance to work with such managers it gives you a chance to learn from the best and develop, and Jose was a fantastic influence for me," he told Yahoo!
"When you move into management, you're working alone - you can't look to imitate or be anyone else, and you have to carry your own ideas with you.
"But the more experience you have the better and I have been very fortunate to be able to work with lots of very good managers, world-class managers.
"I have then hopefully been intelligent enough to take on board the good and the bad, and work it into my own identity.”
The former Reading and Watford boss also insists that his side's attacking 4-3-3 flair has followed him throughout his coaching career, and is not merely something that he learnt while at Stamford Bridge.
"It wasn't just at Chelsea that I came round to that way of thinking. I have always coached my teams like that. From 20 years of age I studied in Spain and travelled throughout Europe, to understand the structure and the formation of 4-3-3," he said.
“I had always done that as a youth coach, but obviously going to Chelsea allowed me to work with players at the very highest level, both youths and seniors.
“It also allowed me to explore and experiment with how far you can take that system with really good players."
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