Having slipped to fourth place following two consecutive SSE Airtricity League first division defeats, Galway FC will be hoping to post a positive result on Saturday evening against Longford Town at City Calling Stadium.
Tony Cousins' table-topping midlanders are setting a good pace as they close in on an automatic promotion. Obtaining a play-off berth is Galway's objective now following the worrying reversals to Shelbourne and Wexford Youths.
Prior to the Wexford setback on Friday Galway had been unbeaten in the league away from home, but a familiar failure to convert chances proved to be the Westerners' undoing again, according to manager Tommy Dunne. “For me, it’s the same old story week in, week out,” was Dunne's verdict. “We get the first three chances, we don’t take them; they get one and they score. It was a very disappointing result.
“That’s the start of it, then we concede a soft goal from a set piece. Straight after we go 2-0 down, we get an open goal, don’t score; we get one back and we’re chasing the game.”
At Ferrycarrig Park Galway attempted to pass and probe, but Dunne wants his team to acquire a sharper edge. “We probably were the better team in Wexford as regards of play, but that’s no use. You have to put that ball in the net and you’ve got to stop the balls from going into your own net.
“It’s plain to see we’re not scoring when we should be scoring. We had two brilliant chances in the first half, the keeper pulls off a great save from Jake [Keegan]- fair enough. The rebound I thought off Marc Ludden’s effort should have been finished. Paul [Sinnott] said the keeper was too close so he had to dink it and the keeper got his hand up to save it again.”
The concession of two more soft goals irked Dunne too. “I say to myself, if you have chances and you don’t score, you go home with a 0-0, that’s fair enough. You tried to win the match, but you got something. We’re trying to win the games at a cost at the moment, we’re giving up chances that we shouldn’t be giving up.”
Hard luck stories have been a feature of Galway's season and that is something Dunne is eager to eradicate. “Maybe we need to work more on the defensive side of things, but overall it’s hard luck stories and teams don’t win anything with hard luck stories and that’s what it is with us at the moment.
“To learn to win and to win regularly takes time, but I think you should learn that at a younger age. At the moment I’m not sure we know how to win in crucial matches.
“We could go the opposite way, we could get bodies behind the ball, we might not create chances, we might not have as much fluent football, but you’ll pick up something as you wait for a mistake off the opposition.”
With demanding away matches against Longford (League ) and Dundalk (FAI Cup ) imminent, Dunne wants Galway to summon a gutsy response. “There are seven games to go in the league. We still have to play Wexford at Eamonn Deacy Park, so it’s still up for grabs.”
• Galway United Supporters’ Trust is running a bus to Saturday’s match, leaving from The Dail Bar, Cross Street, Galway, at 3.30pm. Contact Ronan Coleman 087-6972823, or Dominick Walsh 087-9163438.