Dundalk boss Filippo Giovagnoli believes there are a portion of people within the League of Ireland who want to see him fail but says that will only motivate him to achieve bigger and better things this season.
Asked at a virtual FAI event to announce Bank of Ireland becoming an Associate Sponsor of the SSE Airtricity League last week whether the club would need to be patient with him this season, the Italian said he felt they had already shown a level of patience by appointing him in the first place.
“I think the club is patient,” he said.
“Having me is already showing big patience from the club because with all the scepticism I had around me and the criticism the club had to be really patient but they trust me and believe me.
“I’m a hard worker and I’m not going to give up and I know the game so I can handle it. The club believe in me and our staff and we’re going to work together. Like I said, we’re not going to hide. We want to be there to win the league.”
Asked if qualifying for the Europa League group stages and winning an FAI Cup had silenced the doubters, the 50-year-old said: “No, I don’t think so.
“It will never end but I accept this. It doesn’t matter. When I’m under pressure I perform better so I hope they keep on going to say that because they motivate me and I’m not going to relax, I’m going to perform and I’m going to be ready for the challenge.”
Giovagnoli went on to describe how he felt some of the commentary around his appointment as Vinny Perth’s successor last August was “nasty” and “offensive”.
Asked had he read the comments, he said: “Oh yeah, I had people telling me. I did because at the beginning you have to do it because it’s going to help to understand where you are and the environment.
“I don’t want to say this word but it was pretty nasty to be honest, sometimes even offensive personally but it doesn’t matter to be honest. At the end of the day, I love what I do.
“I come here every day and I could even sleep here at Oriel Park for how much I love my job. There is nothing that can hurt me in this way, nothing. Everything is helping me to perform better.”
Asked if he felt there was more pressure on him due to being a coach from overseas who had recruited overseas players, Giovagnoli said: “For sure.
“We’re going to be under the big eye of everyone and the media of course. I think parts of the people want to see us fail because they say if you’re not Irish you cannot play here and if you’re not Irish you can’t coach here. That’s not true.
“Football is the same all over the world. I think the League of Ireland has to open and if you open it then it’s going to become stronger and people will see the league all over the world, it will produce more players and there’s going to be more interest around the league – maybe more sponsors, more more, more business and better opportunities. This is how I see it but this is the vision of the club and my vision.
“I just hope that there is going to be fair judgement but that’s fine, whatever it’s going to be is not a problem, we’re just going to keep on going to work.”
Giovagnoli also said he had sought new additions to his squad in Ireland but didn’t feel the right players were available.
“Of course we did but we didn’t find the deal with the players and for some positions, to be honest, the profile of player that we were looking for wasn’t available so we had to go overseas, it was as simple as that.”
Asked if the criticism he had received had annoyed him, Giovagnoli said: “Not really. Any coach in the world, you are the best until the next game and then when you lose a game you become stupid.
“That’s fine, it’s our position and our life and we have to accept this. We just have to not go away from our focus or objectives,” he said.