What are your views on playing with three centre halves and wing backs formation?
I have done that before.
As a football coach you must know all the systems and you use them differently according to what players you have, or the culture of the league.
At the same time, I think it’s very important, especially in pre-season, that you test everything.
Coaching is about testing and testing and finding out what works and what doesn’t.
That’s why you saw us play that system against Oxford City and you might see it again.
It could well be that in the season we have two ways of playing, but at the minute I’m focused on settling on one. 
You also take into consideration what the team has done in previous seasons.
Did you watch any League One football last season?
Since we took over at Swansea we created a department because we had to be spot-on with the transfers, so it was analysing future talent.
We analysed a lot of games in League One.
I did see a lot of games last season, mainly because we had players at Leeds who were on loan in League One.
So for example we had Lee Erwin at Oldham and we were always watching a few teams around Yorkshire in case we had to loan out players.
Apart from the marathon I did on Oxford (as preparation for the job interview) the most recent game I saw was Fleetwood in the play-offs.
A couple of your early managerial jobs ended quite quickly. What did you learn from those experiences and was there ever a point where you thought about leaving football?
You learn that in football you can do things very well and end up losing the game.
The lessons come in defeat, my father taught me that.
I have had a lot of success in other projects, but I felt I learned more when I have failed.
The fact that I’ve failed made me better and understand more about how not to fail.
Failure is a part of the game. Marcelo Bielsa said everyone works very hard and we all fail, but sometimes we succeed.
It is normal in life that you work very hard and now and then you succeed at something.
For you to succeed, someone else has to fail.
I never thought about stopping and doing something else.
On the contrary, I just thought ‘I need to get more prepared’.
I analysed what happened and it made me refocus. The fact we are here talking is because of that.

If you could have any player past or present as team captain who would it be and why?
I think it would be Michael Jordan.
He led by example and he was someone who had the talent but worked every day to improve.
He was able to keep playing basketball at a high level into his 40s because he had a strong work ethic.
Even though he was the best player in the world he continued to work on the fundamentals of the game and nowadays he promotes them.
I think that’s the way to create big players.
Will you be in a tracksuit or suit on the touchline?
I don’t know, I’ve done both. I haven’t decided yet.
I’m not superstitious. One of the main reasons might be on the temperature, it’s more about being practical.
How seriously will you be taking the cup competitions?
The goal of every team is, whatever competition, it is an opportunity.
You must have an obligation to try to win it.
Apart from that, everyone in the squad deserves an opportunity.
The cups as well as the league make it a long season, so that helps everyone become involved.
Of course we will take the cups seriously.

As a child, who was your footballing hero?
Michael Laudrup.
He was the first one who started to do things that were not usual.
For example, travelling with the ball to the left and playing it to the right.
These are the fundamentals of the game, but he was doing it naturally. 
He was able to deceive and deception is a weapon which is very effective but very difficult to have.
When you saw Michael Laudrup his head was always analysing and it gave him a lot of tactical opportunities.
Very few players achieve it.
I didn’t have posters of him on my wall as a child, I wasn’t like that, but I do have a picture of him now at home.
You have had an interesting coaching career, who has been your biggest influence?
I took a lot of things from Rinus Michels at Ajax and from the English game – what Terry Venables achieved at Barcelona.
Arrigo Sacchi as well because he changed the game, Johan Cruyff was another one. 
But I have two biggest influences.
One was a teacher I had when I did my coaching licences in Spain. I was lucky enough to be his assistant – he was called Josep Simelio.
Another role model I had is Marcelo Bielsa.
He achieved great things through the use of the fundamentals of the game and how to beat the opposition by being very aggressive winning the ball back.
These things really impressed me. I saw many training sessions with him and had many conversations with him.
He is a fantastic coach.

See tomorrow's Oxford Mail for part two