West Ham defender Jose Fonte believes he will flourish under the stewardship of Hammers boss Slaven Bilic.
Fonte says he has much to learn from his current manager given that he, too, played in the heart of central defence during his career.
Bilic recruited Portugal ace Fonte in January from Southampton for a fee believed to be in the region of £8million but has only tasted victory once in his six outings for the London Stadium outfit.
Now Fonte is ready to redouble his efforts to collect three points when West Ham host Leicester City in a Premier League clash on Saturday.
And the 33-year-old stopper says he has plenty to pick up from Bilic; as he says he did under Mauricio Pocchetino and Ronald Koeman, the former coaches he worked for at previous club Saints.
Fonte told the club’s website: “It helps massively to have a coach who played in the same position as me. In my last few years I’ve been lucky in that I’ve had Pochettino, Koeman and now Slaven, so I’ve had the opportunity to learn from the best and I will improve however I can with him. I just want to get better.
“You take anything you can from your managers, but the small details make the difference. You’ve got to pay attention, because when managers like them speak, they know what they are talking about. You take everything that they say and try to replicate it in the game.”
Fonte, who put pen to paper on a two-and-a-half-year deal when he left St Mary’s, says that on the touchline Billic is “very different” to most managers. He says he “is honest, direct and a football person himself”.
He added: “He was a centre-back himself, he has character and an aura and I’m just pleased to be working with him and learning from him. I’m old enough now to deal with any situation. Obviously, it’s nice to have the confidence of the manager and everyone, but you need to have some self-confidence and belief, because if you don’t, it doesn’t matter if others believe in you.”
Meanwhile, Bilic is said to have joined Chelsea in the race to sign Fenerbahce ace Simon Kjear. The Denmark star is well known to the Hammers boss through his spell in Turkey as coach at Istanbul rivals Besiktas.