Carlos Carvalhal says he and his coaching staff "changed almost everything" about their approach to football after suffering relegation from the Premier League with Swansea City in 2018.
Carvalhal made a name for himself in the English game by leading Sheffield Wednesday to the Championship play-off final in 2016, where they were beaten by Hull City.
Wednesday were then beaten in the semi-finals after finishing fourth under Carvalhal in 2016-17. That remains their highest second-tier finish since 1990-91, when they were promoted in third.
However, Carvalhal left the Owls for Swansea City in December 2017, only winning eight of 25 games in south Wales and overseeing their relegation from the Premier League the following May.
Carvalhal has since enjoyed something of a renaissance with the likes of Rio Ave and Braga, before moving to Spain to keep Celta Vigo up with a final-day victory over Barcelona last season.
The Portuguese coach is proud of his achievements since leaving English football, claiming his stint at Swansea provoked a change in his approach to the game.
"After England, we were at Sheffield Wednesday for two and half years and half a year at Swansea, then we stopped for one season," Carvalhal told Stats Perform at the Thinking Football Summit.
"We decided to stop and reflect on the things that we did and the things that we wanted to do in the future. We changed almost everything. In this moment, we saw football in a different way.
"We are not basing it on the system [anymore], we are basing it on spaces and creating spaces. It's the way that we look at football, completely differently, like a chess player looking at the table.
"The results were fantastic, I can tell you.
"We took a big risk to go to Rio Ave. Rio Ave is a medium club in Portugal. We were in the Premier League, and nobody from the Premier League goes to Rio Ave. But we decided to go there because it's a calm club, there were some good players, we could put our ideas on the pitch.
"The reality was that we achieved Europa League [qualification]. Braga the same, we continued improving, in Celta Vigo we improved and we have stopped now to refresh a little again.
"I know €14 million was raised in Rio Ave with the players that we developed, which is very good for the club. Almost €100 million at Braga, and now in Celta Vigo with Gabri Veiga and Javi Galan probably about €50 million. So we are improving players.
"It's something that of course we are very proud of and something that we want to do in the future in the next challenge."
Carvalhal oversaw Rio Ave's best points return in their Primeira Liga history in 2019-20 (55 points), before leading Braga to their third – and most recent – Taca de Portugal one year later.
The 57-year-old has been out of work since leaving Celta in June, but he is ready to get back into the game and believes taking regular breaks is crucial to stay fresh.
"The gaps, I need to rest for my mental health, which I care about. Usually, you never see me have problems with other coaches, with referees and so on, because of these kinds of things.
"I decided [to move] because we did very well [at Braga]. We did the best the club has done in its history. In two seasons, we won the cup and we reached three finals.
"We achieved the quarter-final of the Europa League, 17 players from the academy played in the first team. At Celta Vigo, we arrived at the club in a very difficult position. We finished in 13th.
"There's a lot of pressure. So I spoke with my staff, I said I need to stop for three or four months and after, we go back to the market. So at this moment, we are on the market again.
"We are not under pressure, it's not about money. We can't say that we don't ever go for the money because we never know what will happen tomorrow, but I would prefer to go because of passion and football. Let's see what happens."