Gianfranco Zola has admitted the he sought the advice of former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola after being sacked by West Ham United.
The former Chelsea striker took a two-year break from management after leaving Upton Park, before eventually returning to take charge of Watford.
The 46-year-old told Sky Sports News: "It was tough. That's why I took time off. It was time to go back to basics, to go back to the books and do things that could help me with my managerial career.
"I watched a few teams that I was interested in. The first team was a Serie B team Pescara where [Zdenek] Zeman was the manager. I like him and his style of football. I spent time with him and it was very good.
"Then I went to see Barcelona, another pretty good team, and it was very inspirational, and it wasn't inspirational because of all the stuff they do on the pitch, it was also the way they conducted themselves, the players and managers. That impressed me very much. Very remarkable."
Zola's Watford side face Crystal Palace in the Championship playoff final tomorrow.