Galway United return to SSE Airtricity League first division action at Eamonn Deacy Park when hosting Longford Town on Friday evening (7.45pm ).
Last Saturday’s comfortable FAI Cup first round win over North End United at Ferrycarrig Park was a significant boost for Alan Murphy’s outfit. Eoin McCormack netted a hat-trick, while Conor Barry also added a goal for the Tribesmen, who are currently six points off the play-off positions with four matches remaining.
Neale Fenn’s Longford Town enjoyed a productive cup outing themselves, defeating top flight Sligo Rovers, and the midlanders’ squad features some promising players.
The play-off is still the target for United and Galway's Alan Murphy.
“We are focusing on Longford which is a huge game this weekend. A win there would bring us possibly back into a situation where we can put pressure on teams.
“Again as I say week-in, week-out, it is about our own performance, our own standards. Last weekend was a good result, we played well at times and were sloppy at times.
“We have a lot of stuff to take from it and a lot of stuff to learn. Fresh faces have been introduced, they have done well, so we have competition for places again this weekend.”
During the past month Chris Horgan, Wilson Waweru, Adam Rooney, and Evan Murphy have all featured for Murphy’s team and the United boss is delighted how the youngsters are adapting.
“That was one of the advantages I probably had over a lot of people in terms of the knowledge of local football,” Murphy says. “Dealing with the likes of Chris Horgan, Wilson Waweru, and Evan Murphy for a lot of their careers, going back five or six years now at Connacht Schools and underage level.
“It is probably time they repay me in a way for the faith I had in them throughout the years when they were starters for me at all different levels. They are doing that, they are a pleasure to deal with. Their ambition is good, they are hard-working and they want to learn. That is a great platform to be able to start from.
“You just have to look at Chris Horgan. Does he want to make it? Does he want to progress? There is only one answer and that is a great thing to be able to say.
“I have my eye and my hand on an awful lot of players at underage who I know will be able to follow in those footsteps in terms of the want, technical ability, the application and motivation to make the step up.”
Another recent recruit, Sean Russell, contributed handsomely to the FAI Cup triumph in the south east, according to Murphy. “You look at Sean Russell, a guy who is ambitious at the moment. He wants to get back into the League of Ireland. He has been out of it for a while, but he came in last weekend, played in the FAI Cup, and he did well.
“The way technology and science has gone, I can see that he was the hardest working player last weekend. He ran the furthest distance, he worked the hardest.
“Yes people can say looking in that he is not match fit yet, but in the 90 minutes he worked harder than anyone else on the pitch. If he continues to do that it, will only be good for Sean and for us.”