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Giovagnoli blames himself for not tweaking tired Dundalk in Molde loss

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

21:24 22 Oct 2020

Interim Dundalk head coach Filippo Giovagnoli was left feeling guilty after their 2-1 Europa League defeat to Molde at Tallaght Stadium. 

Relegated to a place in the stands due to his lack of adequate qualifications, the Italian was powerless to stop the Norwegian champions converting a 1-0 half-time deficit into all three points.

Sean Murray's flying header had given Dundalk a 35th minute lead, but Molde pressure swung the balance of power towards the visitors who scored twice inside ten second-half minutes.

"I am a little bit disappointed because, myself I could help a little bit the team [by making] substitutions a little bit earlier," the Italian said.

"Because the plan that we prepared [for] the first half was working. We decided to press [in] some situations, high press some situations. We decided to defend as a block in other situations.

"We didn't risk nothing [in] the first half, we scored a good goal. But then we couldn't stick on the plan [in] the second half.

"Of course, Molde is a really strong team. But of course I have this regret that I didn't do something better myself. And I didn't tonight.

"But I have to give credit to the quality of the opponent also."

As he's not in possession of a UEFA Pro Licence, Giovagnoli was forced to leave sideline instructions in the hands of coach Shane Keegan.

The 49-year old said the situation left him feeling "uncomfortable", adding, "They told me that I couldn't coach, I couldn't say much, but it was a really complicated night for me.

"But I have to understand that this is what is going to be Europa League for me. We will need to be better in organising information with the staff before [games]."

A drop in energy levels and the quality of the Norwegian champions conspired against Dundalk, who had to play away to Derry City on Monday night.

They welcome Waterford to Oriel Park on Sunday for a game that could secure European football for another season.

The interim Dundalk boss reiterated that European qualification and reaching the group stages were his goals when appointed.

Speaking to Virgin Media Sport after the game, former Republic of Ireland manager Brian Kerr said the FAI should have postponed Dundalk's games around their European ties.

"That would be great," Giovagnoli said, "But we know it's not going to happen.

"Somewhere, of course, you're going to pay the count, and tonight we paid the count in the second half for all of our games.

"But there is nothing we can do about it. We have just to keep going, be strong, and forget this night. Keep what we did good, but forget the rest.

"We have to be really strong mentally right now."

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Arsenal Dundalk Europa League Filippo Giovagnoli Giovagnoli Molde Molde FK UEFA Europa League

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