Opposite numbers Rosler and Clotet follow similar path

Leeds United training.'United's Assistant Head Coach Pep Clotet.'15th July 2016.'Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe
Leeds United training.'United's Assistant Head Coach Pep Clotet.'15th July 2016.'Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

Their managerial paths both have Scandinavian origins – and Fleetwood Town head coach Uwe Rosler says it is a good place to blood managerial ambitions as he prepares to welcome Oxford United and Pep Clotet.

Clotet was a coach under the man who succeeded Rosler at Norwegian side Viking FK in 2009, Age Hareide.

Rosler’s managerial career started at Lillestrøm in 2006 but the former Manchester City striker returned to English football after Viking and a further spell at Molde.

But the Viking connection is not the only similarity in their career choices with Rosler taking charge at Brentford, Wigan and Leeds before moving to Highbury.

Clotet went back to his roots in Spain by joining Malaga B before spells as assistant at Swansea City and at Leeds United under Garry Monk eventually led to his present role.

Like Rosler, Clotet has used his international connections to build a squad that Rosler believes will be challenging at the top this term.

The German said: “I know he was in Sweden, in Norway and went to Swansea.

“I talked with him last year when we played Leeds when he worked with Garry Monk.

“Obviously he is using his international contacts to bring over players that are good value and that is why they have a strong squad this year.

“It is a coincidence, he is educated in Spain and he is a Spanish coach.

“He went out to widen his horizons and went to Scandanavia to coach; it is a good place to coach, probably at the beginning of your coaching career because you get opportunities out there.

“That is why I went over there, or stayed there after I played there.”

Oxford are seventh but 11th-placed Fleetwood could overtake them with a win.

The last time Town hosted Oxford was in August last year and it was Rosler’s first win as Town boss as they won 2-0.

He holds fond memories of the game and says Oxford are a different team after Clotet succeeded Michael Appleton.

He said: “I felt it was a good performance; I remember it, we were solid and very well organised. It was not as comfortable as the result sounds but it was a good win.

“In the meantime Oxford are not the same team, they got 15 new players from all sort of levels – Premier League clubs, Championship clubs, foreign players from top leagues.

“I think, squad-wise, they are stronger than last year.

“They are aiming for the play-offs and promotion and that tells you that in this league, everybody is pushing and pushing.

“Nobody is settling for mid-table everybody wants to get into the top six.”