C K Akunnor speaks about his credentials after taking charge of his second high-level management job at Hearts of Oak.

The former Ghana and Wolfsburg captain talks about superstition in football, tactics and his personal ambitions.

The 39-year-old spoke to the club’s official newspaper Hearts News. Here are details of the interview.

How surprised were you to get the call from Hearts?

It was very strange but not really surprising like the first call which came some months ago. When I left Wise, I thought that my market with the national team which I must say I was happy to have landed.

I hadn’t really even considered a move to Hearts by then, but then out of the blue I received a call from Hearts to manage the club. So I said OK. It seemed like a good idea and I thought to myself, well, I could certainly do with improving my CV as a coach with a club as big as Hearts of Oak where the stakes are always high and the fans very demanding and really difficult to satisfy.

What was said between you and the club when you first met?

We spoke about everything to do with Hearts. The management told me what they wanted to do with the club and their ambitions for Hearts and I told them what I could do in the role of a coach to get the results and get the club back into reclaiming its past glory in the League and on the international scene.

From our very first meeting there has been a good feeling between myself and all at the club and we have had a very good working relationship so far. I really hope it al continues this way in all of my stay here.

What attracted you to Hearts because we understand Salas Tetteh, David Duncan and a few others all chickened out for reasons which best be said to be the huge expectations from the fans?

All of these individuals might have their own set of reasons but I believe they did not come for good reasons known to them. Yes I believe I have what it takes to lead Hearts to a higher platform once again. It also represented a perfect opportunity to coach one of the biggest on the continent and to further improve upon the past. I have come a long way as a coach and I hope the experience acquired both as a player and a coach will help me succeed.

I have monitored the club for several years and I think I am really impressed with its large support base and its strong tradition. Its name alone is an attraction on its own because on the African continent one can not mention great clubs without mentioning Hearts of Oak. It represents a power house in African football. I am not saying this because I have come here but we have to understand that facts.

Who were your managerial mentors and what did they teach you?

All good coaches like to look around the world and pick up little bits of philosophy here and there, put it together and make it their own. So my mentor is the world. I like to watch football in South America, Italy, Spain, and England and pass on that experience to my players. Every coach is different, though, but I believe I have learnt a lot from Sam Ardey, Jones Attuquayefio and E.K Affranie.

But in reality I am a big fan of Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho as a coach and as a man.  I have read a lot of his books on the game and I think I really admire his style. I really want to learn from him. I will want to meet him and grab a few techniques from him. He fascinates me a lot with his leadership style. Mourinho undeniably is a cult figure – you either love him or hate him, once you know him there’s no middle ground with him. In contemporary football, he is the self-anointed ‘special one’ and master of the mind games. He is the king motivator, the master baiter, in fact.

Mourinho is a fantastic person and I think it is crazy when people say he all sot of things about him. He is young in the head and when you are young up here (taps his forehead) it is not important what age you are.

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