Gary Bowyer is hoping the magic of Diego Simeone can inspire Blackpool to get back on track next season.
Since his exit from Blackburn last November, Pool’s new manager has travelled around Europe, taking in numerous training sessions.
And he revealed a spell with Spanish giants Atletico Madrid, last season’s Champions League runners-up, has given him ideas he hopes to bring to Bloomfield Road.
Bowyer explained: “Being out of the game allowed me to go and do things you’d never be able to do when you’re in work.
“I spent some time at Benfica under Nuno Gomes. That was fantastic.
“I was also fortunate enough to go to Atletico Madrid and see how they worked from their reserves to watching first-team sessions.
“That was very good and hopefully I can bring some of the things I saw to use in my job here at Blackpool.
“I had a good relationship with Nuno from his time at Blackburn, so I was able to pick up the phone to him.
“In the case of Atletico, it was through a third party and it was an incredible experience.”
Bowyer’s break from football ended last Wednesday, when he replaced Neil McDonald in the Blackpool hotseat, a job considered one of the toughest in English football.
It was the first time he’d been without a job since signing for Hereford United as a teenager 29 years ago.
And although the break of almost seven months wasn’t what he planned or wanted at the time, he feels it has done him good.
Bowyer explained: “I’ve been in football all my life and the first couple of months after leaving Blackburn were difficult.
“For years I was getting up out of bed each morning with a purpose, then I had that taken away from me.
“I feel refreshed from the break. I think it’s done me good. You do need a break at times to reflect.
“I’ve been able to get out and about, and learn different things. That’s something which has helped me.”