Dundalk v Rovers | Filippo’s Thoughts
The latest digital issue of the DFC Magazine is now available to buy ahead of the SSE Airtricity League clash with Shamrock Rovers. You can read Filippo Giovagnoli’s programme notes below.
On Saturday, the players who played the majority of the game in Tiraspol on Thursday night came in for recovery while the rest of the squad trained for the game with Shamrock Rovers. The mood was very good. Everyone is very excited. We have tonight’s game and a Europa League playoff next Thursday in front of us and we are ready for the challenge. It is nice to be part of the club at this moment.
There is no doubt that playing a game tonight is not ideal preparation for the playoff but I also don’t think it is the best thing for the League of Ireland. I have to take care of the health of my players and we have to be responsible and accountable for that. A lot of the players went through 90 minutes, extra-time, penalties, and then had a long trip home from Moldova. They only got back on Friday morning without sleep so it’s not healthy for them.
In my opinion, this is not the best thing for the players and I think the national organisation should realise that. Now listen, we have players ready to play tonight. That is not a problem at all. We will play, we will be ready and we will play hard but you don’t want to be in a situation where you are putting the health of the players in danger.
I am aware of the rivalry between Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers but, to be honest, it is just another game to me. I know how important it is to the players and the fans but I don’t let emotion get over me and I always try and stay focussed. We have only had one day to prepare for the game and this is the only thing that has disappointed me but it is what it is. This is soccer and we have to deal with it. We know it’s a very important game. It’s only my second league game since I came to the club but it’s a crucial one for us because we need the points but we will perform. There is no doubt about that. We will go out there to win the game.
We are able to bring 100 of our supporters into the ground and this is one of the best things that has happened since I came to the club. We will be playing for them and we want to make them happy. We want to welcome them back with a great performance.
We had lots of nice messages after the game on Thursday from family and friends in Italy and America but also a lot from here in Dundalk. I am happy that people here are happy and we want to keep that going. Myself and Giuseppe really feel the town. Everywhere we go we hear people saying ‘C’mon The Town’ and now it’s our war scream! We want the fans to know that we are in. We are totally in.
Enjoy the game.