Dundalk interim head coach Filippo Giovagnoli has admitted he is massively concerned about the possible impact Covid-19 could have on his squad’s schedule over the coming weeks.

Last Friday’s game against St Patrick’s Athletic was postponed after a Pat’s player was diagnosed with Covid-19 while the Republic of Ireland national team were also severely disrupted by the pandemic at the weekend.

While largely out of his control whether it gets into the Dundalk group or not, Giovagnoli said the club were taking every precaution possible to protect themselves.

“It’s a massive concern,” he said of Covid-19.

“We’re taking all the precautions possible with our players. We meet almost every day and we make sure that we are following all the procedures. Everything is in the protocols but it is a concern.

“We control what we can but this virus is crazy and you don’t know what could happen. In the majority of the cases as well you are asymptomatic so you don’t feel anything and that’s the problem.

“In this situation you just have to lower the percentage of risk in your daily life and be smart. This is what we’re telling the players but also we do a lot of tests so that we stay really controlled.

“We’ve created a sort of bubble in our group. Until now it has gone well so we have to keep on going even though it’s getting more difficult because the cold weather is coming. It’s going to be tough for everyone.”

Dundalk’s latest round of Covid-19 tests took place on Sunday.

With cases building in Ireland there has been speculation that the country could yet move to Level 5. This could lead to the league here being halted with the possibility that Dundalk may have to play their home Europa League matches at neutral venues abroad.
While not ideal, Giovagnoli said he would not be losing sleep over the prospect.

“I hope that that won’t happen but it is what it is. If we have to do that, we’ll do that.

“The world has massively changed and we have to be ready for everything and adapt and be flexible. Until they can get a vaccine to fix this situation, it’s going to be our life and even the lives of the players has changed so we have to be patient and take each day by day or you’ll go crazy.

“If I start to think what could happen I’d go crazy but I can’t do that. We just have to stay aware, cut our contacts and wash our hands and hope it will be enough.”