By Amir Mir
Aston Villa goalkeeper Pierluigi Gollini has revealed he is prepared for the toughness of the Championship as he shared his own relegation experience at former club Hellas Verona.
Gollini signed for £4.25 million on a four-year contract from the Serie A side who suffered their own relegation last season.
Villa suffered a similar season to the Italian side with fan protests taking place due to the grim performances of the team.
“In Italy the fans don’t have a lot of patience and they can get very angry, very quickly,” Gollini told the Birmingham Mail. “We had a few visits when our fans turned up at the training ground to let us know they weren’t happy. ”
“On another occasion we flew back from Napoli and they turned up at the airport to throw eggs at us! For you in England, that would be big news. But in Italy, that’s normal.
“Eggs are okay, I can handle eggs… in Italy you are only really in trouble when they start throwing stones.”
The youngster will now enter unknown territory as a 46-game season looms on the 21-year-old in his second stint in England, after previously being on the books at Manchester United.
Gollini has featured as the No1 keeper on many occasions during pre-season and is expected to get the nod ahead of Mark Bunn and Jed Steer.
The Italian stopper was signed by his Italian counterpart after Brad Guzan conceded 76 goals last term which led to the keepers expected departure from the club.
However, Gollini understands the tough nature of the second-tier, but insists he is prepared for the challenge ahead.
“It’s relentless, there are so many games,” said Gollini to the Birmingham Mail. “But I’m looking forward to it because it means I’ll get a lot of games early on.
“You can train as hard as you want but it’s games which decide whether you’re going to play in the Premier League or drop down to League One. What you do on the pitch matters most.
“In Italy we don’t play as many games so this is a challenge for me. If we lose we have to be ready to go again – straight away.”
Gollini is expected to make his debut away at Sheffield Wednesday on Sunday afternoon as the new Championship season gets under way.
In other Aston Villa team news, manager Roberto Di Matteo is facing a striker dilemma as he tries to pick his starting line-up for the opening game.