With two home SSE Airtricity League First Division games imminent for Galway FC, Tommy Dunne will be hoping his team can make a positive statement of intent against Cobh Ramblers at Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow evening.
The following Friday fellow promotion contenders Shelbourne will be the visitors to the Dyke Road venue, so Galway will be especially keen to defeat Cobh. It has been a particularly testing campaign for a youthful Cobh squad, who have only registered one point on the road from nine road trips so far in 2014.
Nobody is disguising the fact that Galway will be expected to prevail by a comfortable margin and, while that can bring its own added pressure, Dunne is relishing the fact that significant challenges are arriving. “We’ve got Cobh Ramblers at home now, it’s another big game, if we can pick up three points it would set us up nicely for the Shelbourne game,” is Dunne’s verdict.
Reflecting on last Friday’s scoreless stalemate with Finn Harps at Ballybofey, Dunne felt the draw did not benefit either the Donegal outfit or Galway. “It was a battling point. I’m not sure the result suited either of us to be honest, we were looking to try to get the three points and keep going. They have been tight games between us and Finn Harps from the first game right through to the latest one and I think they’re capable of giving anybody a match on their day so it might not be a bad point away from home.
“Leaving Donegal you would say sometimes it’s not a bad point as long as we perform next week and take the three points at home, that’s what we’ll be looking to do. It’s still all to play for, if we can keep performing and keep battling and keep in there then there will be results like that one over the course of the season. I felt we did need the three points in Donegal, but I thought we had more clear-cut chances than Finn Harps to win the game but we didn’t take them.”
Ensuring Galway impose their favoured passing style and remain patient when under duress are issues Dunne wants his players to improve on in the coming weeks and months. “Physicality seems to be a bit of an issue for us at times, we’re not the biggest of teams, but in saying that, we’ve got to get used to it. Physicality is part of the Irish game and you have to be to ready, if you’re not playing then you need to battle. When I looked at it against Harps, we battled hard but we weren’t able to get that goal that would make them come out a bit more. I know they were pressing us, but they might have just taken a few more chances and we might have done them on the break if we had got a goal.
“For us, we need to look at it, like, if somebody presses us high up the pitch we need to be able to cope with that and look to play and look to start the game. We can’t go back into “you kick it long, we kick it long” and that’s the way a lot of the game went. We’ve got to try to impose our own game and be a bit more patient.”
During Galway’s debut campaign at this level Dunne has been flexible, tactically altering the formation, and the Dubliner felt it was necessary to use three central midfielders late on in Ballybofey. “I think it possibly suited us a bit when we threw the extra body into the centre of the park, because they had three in there for most of the match, it allowed us to pick up more ball in middle and we got more percentage of ball.”
There is sufficient talent in the Galway ranks to dictate the tempo and outfox Cobh, who have leaked 39 goals in 18 fixtures.