Monday 9 December 2019

'I wanted to manage Watford' - Swansea boss Francesco Guidolin

New Swansea head coach Francesco Guidolin
New Swansea head coach Francesco Guidolin

Francesco Guidolin admits he had hoped to manage Watford - but is happy to have been given a chance to experience the Barclays Premier League with Swansea.

The Italian was appointed as the Swans' new head coach on Monday and watched his new team defeat Watford that evening. He will take charge of a match for the first time against Everton on Sunday.

Guidolin left his last managerial post with Udinese in May 2014 and took up a position as technical supervisor of the three teams owned by the Pozzo family - Udinese, Granada and Watford.

He told La Gazzetta dello Sport: "I think I did some great work at Udinese. I let them know I would have liked to work at Watford, even in the Championship, but other managers were hired.

"Given their results, which include promotion and their good form in the Premier League, they made the right decision."

Guidolin said he had received offers to manage again in Italy but held out for a chance abroad.

"I preferred to wait as I wanted to experience something outside of Italy, and in the end I was rewarded," he said.

"I knew it wouldn't be easy as I'm not well-known internationally, but my agent Frank Trimboli did a great job in getting me this opportunity with Swansea."

Guidolin has been monitoring Swansea and is positive about the squad he has to work with despite their position just above the relegation zone.

The 60-year-old has appointed former Chelsea midfielder Gabriele Ambrosetti as his assistant and will also work alongside Alan Curtis, who had been interim manager since Garry Monk's departure last month.

Guidolin said: "The initial signs are encouraging. I was impressed by how cordial everyone was.

"The first half against Watford was our best performance in some time. I have been following Swansea for the past month and I am convinced we have a great base to work from.

"I will try to implement my work on things that make a big difference like focus, concentration and intensity while trying to get them to play good football."

Guidolin cited the stress of the job when he left his post at Udinese, and he added: "It is my strength, and my weakness. Stress can help you, but it can also hurt you.

"When your job occupies your entire day, the results eventually come and that is the secret to my career. However, at the same time, the struggle drains you."

Guidolin took his first training session on Wednesday while Ambrosetti was officially added to the coaching staff.

The 42-year-old, who played under Guidolin at Vicenza before moving to Chelsea in 1999, expressed his delight at joining Swansea.

He told the club website: "I'm really happy to be here. Francesco was my coach so I know how he works and his style, and he also knows how I work.

"We kept in touch all the time, and as soon as he asked me about going to Swansea with him I quickly said yes.

"The first thing I felt when I arrived here was passion - from the people in the city, the staff, the players. Having the type of welcome we both had makes us feel so comfortable, and that is important when you are in a new country.

"It's a great club and I will do my very best to help the club push up the table."

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, tickets to Ireland's against Scotland in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Online Editors

The Left Wing: The problem with the Champions Cup, the Stephen Larkham effect and trouble in Welsh rugby

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport