Brendan Rodgers admits he likes his Swansea players' 'brains to be sore' after every training session as he continues to draw influence from Barcelona.
The Swans, newcomers to the Premier League following their promotion last season but firmly on course for survival, have attracted plaudits for their patient passing style under Rodgers, earning comparisons with European giants Barca.
The Welsh side will go up against Manchester City on Sunday with Roberto Mancini having previously admitted they "play the best football in England."
Rodgers, who guided the Swans into the top-flight on his first season at the Liberty Stadium, previously spent years studying the approach of Spanish giants Barcelona, as well as Dutch sides Ajax and FC Twente.
The manager has worked to emulate their philosophies at Swansea and bring intelligent football to the club.
"Barcelona has been my inspiration. I never run away from that. I spent many years travelling there learning about the model of Louis van Gaal and Johan Cruyff," he told the Sun on Sunday.
"When I quit playing I wanted to understand that way and structure, the relationship between the youth teams and the first team.
"Obviously the leading lights were the Spanish and the Dutch."
He added: "After two weeks here I felt we would have a great chance because of the honesty of the players.
"They were sponges for information and wanted to work. They just soaked up what I was telling them.
"I like players to think. I like their brains to be sore after every session. I want them to keep thinking. To play this way you need players with incredible intelligence."
Rodgers says spending time as youth team coach at Chelsea under Jose Mourinho played a key role in his football education.
But the 39-year-old admits his approach differs greatly from the Real Madrid manager's, adding: "With Mourinho, my football education was the equivalent of going to Harvard.
"But my philosophy on the pitch is completely different to his, yes.
"Absolutely. People don't see how there can be a difference. But the key is before I went there my philosophy was already formed.
"I had 10½ years of development as a coach. My principles were already in place. Going from Head of the Academy at Reading to Chelsea meant I was able to explore these ideas with top talents."
What will be the outcome in the match Swansea vs Man City?