Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers has hailed the impact that Jose Mourinho has had on his career as a manager.
The Northern Irishman was appointed by Mourinho as youth team manager at Chelsea, before eventually being promoted to reserve team boss at Stamford Bridge.
After four years at Chelsea, Rodgers made the step up into first-team management when he was appointed as Watford boss, although he left for Reading less than a year later.
Little over 12 months further down the line and Rodgers was in the hot seat at the Liberty Stadium, where he was able to lead the Swans to the top-flight after only one season in charge.
And, says the 38-year-old, his success has been, in part, down to the influence Mourinho had on him at an early stage.
“Jose was a fantastic influence for me,” Rodgers told Yahoo.
“When you get the chance to work with such managers it gives you a chance to learn from the best and develop.
"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.
“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.
"I have then hopefully been intelligent enough to take on board the good and the bad, and work it into my own identity.”
He added: “I do stay in touch with [Mourinho]. But it wasn't just at Chelsea that I came round to that way of thinking.
“From 20 years of age I studied in Spain and travelled throughout Europe, to understand the structure and the formation of 4-3-3.
"Going to Chelsea allowed me to explore and experiment with how far you can take that system with really good players."
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