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Filippo hoping to give Keegan a more active role

// 2 Sep 2020

Dundalk head coach Filippo Giovagnoli is hoping to give opposition analyst Shane Keegan a more prominent role on his staff following the departure of John Gill and Alan Reynolds.

The former Wexford Youths manager – who holds a UEFA Pro Licence – was in the dugout for Sunday’s FAI Cup win over Cobh Ramblers at St Colman’s Park and Giovagnoli said he would like to utilise Keegan’s skills on a more regular basis.

“Shane has to speak to the club,” he told dundalkfc.com. “We shall see what happens. We would love to have him more often with us to work and help but it is a board decision.”

Giovagnoli will take charge of his first European game on September 17th when the Lilywhites travel to Andorra to face Inter Club in the second qualifying round. 

Dundalk will be ranked as red-hot favourites to advance to the third qualifying round but Giovagnoli insisted that he would be leaving nothing to chance.

“We have to respect any team that we play in this round,” he said. “I think Inter is a team with expertise and players with a good history. We will need to be really serious and prepare really well, on and off the pitch, for when we play them.

Dundalk head coach Filippo Giovagnoli, right, and assistant coach Giuseppe Rossi watch on during the Extra.ie FAI Cup Second Round match between Drogheda United and Derry City at United Park in Drogheda, Louth. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

“Is there added pressure on us because people think we will beat them? Not really. It’s just another game. For me, there is always pressure with any team I play against. I always want to prepare and do well.”

A third qualifying round tie with Moldovan kingpins Sheriff Tiraspol is on offer for the winners on September 24th but Giovagnoli said his only focus at the moment was on the league fixture with Shelbourne at Oriel Park on Friday week.

“I’m not thinking about Sheriff,” he said. “Now, I am only thinking about the game with Shelbourne on September 11th. Then we will prepare for Andorra. 

“It’s step by step. We have a week-and-a-half to prepare for Shelbourne to work on our principles and then we will look at the Europa League.”

Patrick McEleney and Cameron Dummigan resumed full training this week while Giovagnoli is also hoping to have Patrick Hoban (groin), Daniel Cleary (hamstring) and Greg Sloggett (foot) available for the Europa League game with Inter Club.