Filippo Giovagnoli will ultimately be judged on results but the new Dundalk interim head coach already feels he has won his first major battle at Oriel Park.

The unknown Italian was a shock appointment to replace Vinny Perth following his sacking last month.

Taking over a side on a low ebb, he admits his first major task was to make Oriel Park a fun place to be again.

After his first full week with the side last week, he feels that process has begun.

Now having convinced the players of his qualities, he is hopeful that good performances and results – starting this Friday night against Shelbourne – will help win the fans over too.

Asked was turning the atmosphere around his biggest challenge, Giovagnoli said: “Yes because while people are sceptical about me outside, that is one thing but if I have players who don’t trust what I’m trying to do then that’s the real problem.

“With them, the trust came really fast to be honest because they saw that we know what we are doing, that we have a purpose and there is a reason for everything we do and in every detail and coaching point we give them. Now that we’ve started our process, there is only one way to make fans happy and that is to get results.”

The 49-year-old said he was happy with how last week’s training had gone.

“It’s gone great. We’ve kept on getting to know each other and to understand what we want to do in terms of style.

“We’ve tried to train a little differently but I think the players are enjoying it a lot. They’re having fun. They come here and work hard. They’re willing to learn and to take in new and different information. There’s an exciting atmosphere at the moment.”

Having admitted to watching a number of Dundalk matches before arriving at the club, Giovagnoli was asked had any players surprised him by their ability now that he had got to see them in the flesh.

“They’ve surprised me in many ways, not only with their skill but with their personality, their character, their ability. This team is really rich in these things.

“It’s just about getting their confidence back, going back to what they know and also working in something a little bit different.”