Joey Barton revealed he has cleared the air with former Fleetwood Town head coach Uwe Rosler.
Barton and Rosler were among a host of former and current Manchester City players who attended the funeral of City’s former secretary and life president, Bernard Halford, on Wednesday.
Barton took charge at Highbury in the summer of 2018, months after Rosler departed the club and was replaced by John Sheridan on a short-term basis.
Barton had watched footage of Town’s games to see how he could turn them into promotion chasers, leading him to question Rosler’s use of a back three.
However, Barton acknowledged that Wednesday’s chat had given him a clearer understanding of the situation in which Rosler – now in charge at Swedish club Malmo – found himself.
He said: “I was Mr Halford’s funeral at Manchester City and you see a lot of old faces from the club.
“I ran into Uwe and it was the first time I have seen him since I have been in the job.
“We had a good chat about the job and where it was at. He gave me a really good understanding.
“It is never nice to pick the phone up to a manager who has been sacked and ask him: ‘What did you do wrong? How can I not make those mistakes?’
“It probably was not the right time to do it (when I took over).
“He’s done fantastic at Malmo. We all saw them against Chelsea and we were just chatting about that league.
“His son (Colin) was with him and we were talking about his progression.
“Being from Manchester City’s academy, I was talking about the shift in mindset as someone who came through City’s academy to the first team as opposed to the difficulties that face some of those boys now.
“Then we spoke about Fleetwood and he was very complimentary about the club.
“It is never easy for a manager when they lose their job but he spoke very frankly and helped me understand where the club had been before and the playing staff had been before in order for me to understand where we are now and where we have to go.
“It was a great 20, 30 minutes and I enjoyed it.
“I’ve always enjoyed talking to him about football, I really have.
“I don’t know what went on here other than the gossip and the hearsay but it was good to talk to him.
“From my point of view I wanted to look him in the eye and for him to know that I never wished him any ill when I came in and watched the games.
“Sometimes it is important as men to communicate properly.
“He was probably aware in the Gazette a few times I talked about back threes and things.
“I did say to him that it is me trying to explain the journey of this football club.
“Weirdly I’ve ended up playing a back three in the last few games, albeit I think he played a back five.
“He says it is a back three but I did say to him it was a back five.
“We had a good laugh about it and he is a good man.
“For me it is a case of trying to learn what has gone before so that we can maybe not make those mistakes in the future.”
Rosler worked closely with technical director Gretar Steinsson during his spell at the club.
However, Steinsson left Town for a new role as chief European scout at Everton in December.
Eleven players left Town this January with Barton saying the biggest piece of advice Rosler gave him about Town concerned the dressing room.
When explaining life at Highbury before Barton, Rosler pointed to losing Conor McLaughlin, David Ball and Jimmy Ryan from the 2016/17 play-off team, as well as Ben Davies who was on loan from Preston North End.
Barton said: “It was interesting really, he was talking about the dressing room.
“The players he lost out of the dressing room, he just spoke about how important they were.
“When all three of them left he felt that, sometimes, the ideas he was trying to get across were maybe not as straightforward as when they were at the club.
“For me, as a young manager, people and players are everything.
“Tactics, everyone knows the difference between tactical shapes and all the tiny details you can go into.
“Ultimately your football club is the people. We have not won a trophy this year, we are not going to get the automatics and the play-offs, we are not going to get relegated but when I look at the people that are here and the energy in the building for me, that is success, we have been really successful.
“I have not been successful because I have not got a promotion or got a team challenging for promotion.
“But if we judge the season on have we been successful when we look at the people around the dressing room – the players, the coaching staff – then we have been incredibly successful.”
Loanees such as Jason Holt, Harry Souttar, Ched Evans and James Husband have played key roles for Town this season.
However, Barton wants to build a core of players on permanent deals at Highbury with Wes Burns having signed a fresh deal this week.
The hope is that Burns, along with a number of other players, will provide a solid base to build upon next season.
Speaking about keeping the loan stars, Barton said: “We’d love to keep them. I think they have all contributed in their different ways.
“Any good team I have been involved in, there has been a core group.
“Even in sides that have gone down to come back up, there has always been a core group that has held it together.
“One of the things I felt I walked into was that they have not really got that core group when I walked in because they had lost key parts of it.
“We had to rebuild that. I think we have gone a long way to doing that with the likes of Ash Eastham, Craig Morgan, Paddy Madden, Wes Burns.
“I do believe that, whenever I leave this club, whoever gets it will find it in a much better position than I found it when I walked in.”