As a young goalkeeper, they may have just dragged him down a social media rabbit hole where he soaked up every negative comment, insult, laugh at his expense. Even if you didn’t witness it, there was no escaping image of the howler against St Johnstone that prompted Liam Fox to take his goalkeeper out of the line of fire a couple of weeks ago.
You know that: Birighitti hesitates a moment too long with the ball at his feet in the five-yard box, just long enough for Stevie May to rumble through him and see ball, man and claim one of the most bizarre goals of all time.
His rookie replacement for Fox’s last game, Jack Newman, also didn’t fare well in a hit against Ross County and new manager Jim Goodwin has backed Birighitti with a return to the starting XI. The 31-year-old Australian is adamant he won’t give up the shirt any time soon, nor will he bother with his critics.
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“It’s tough, people vent their frustration and have their opinions, but I don’t read the stuff and let it get me down,” Birighitti said. “People have an opinion, but it means nothing to me. I learned to be like this because I was big on social media back then and loved reading the comments and what people had to say.
“But the more mature you get – and I’ve been in different leagues over the last five or 10 years – so I know how to deal with that. I’ve been in this position before so I don’t read anything into it, it’s not good for anyone because it’s all negative.
“Sometimes the fans love you and sometimes they hate you. You can be fickle at times, but that’s the way it is. The day after, the best goalkeeper in the world made a mistake, that’s part of the job.
“You’re going to make mistakes, so it’s about how you recover from them. I put my head down, worked hard and now I’m in the position where I need to keep performing to help the team as much as I can.
“It comes down to mental strength and resilience. I’m a strong character and a strong person, I don’t listen to outside noises. I have good people around me, I have a coach behind me.
“I have a tight circle of people I talk to and listen to, people I trust and who know what’s best for me. So I just have to work hard, train hard and put in performances that will help the team until the end of the season.
“The manager came in and supported me. As a player you always want the backing of the coach and you want to repay that by giving 110 per cent every week.
“That’s the goal and I’m ready to fight hard for this position. I’m willing to work hard to make sure I never lose it again.”
Birighitti is not the only senior activist to lose his place in United’s desperate fight to avoid relegation. Captain Ryan Edwards was dropped by Goodwin on Wednesday night as the Tannadice men halted a run of six straight losses at the Livingston claim. It likely won’t be the last big selection decision before the end of the season, and Birighitti believes anyone on the wrong end has to be big enough to make it.
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“You see, getting dropped is part of being a footballer,” he said. “Players are dropped off from time to time – Ryan Edwards has been dropped off at Livingston.
“But he’s old enough and experienced enough to make sure he works hard and comes back to the team because he’s a quality leader and a quality captain. He’s a great guy and we have no doubts that he will be back in the team.
“You can clearly see the manager is not afraid of dropping players so it’s up to us to perform week in and week out. It’s about having the right attitude, being a good teammate, because when you’re dropped there’s no point in hiding and walking on yourself.
“You have to recover from that, stay professional and resilient because it’s football and that’s what happens. You just have to be ready to grab the next opportunity with both hands.”
https://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/23375734.birighitti-responding-dundee-utd-axe-shunning-social-media/?ref=rss Birighitti on reacting to Dundee Utd ax and shunning social media