Having earned a valuable point at the Carlisle Grounds against Bray Wanderers last Saturday evening Galway United conclude the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division season when hosting St Patrick’s Athletic at Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow (7.45pm kick off ).
Barring a highly unlikely sequence of results United will be operating in the top flight again in 2016. Drogheda United need to defeat Shamrock Rovers by a huge margin at Tallaght Stadium, while Pat’s must beat Galway heavily too. United’s goal difference is considerably better than Drogheda so the mission to avoid relegation should be accomplished. “Drogheda have to beat Rovers by a significant margin, and we still have another game ourselves against Pat’s at home so we will try to finish the season as best as we can,” Dunne says.
Encouraged by the resilience United showed when posting decent draws away to Dundalk and Bray Wanderers Dunne is adamant the future is bright in the west as Colm Horgan and Ryan Connolly have signed new deals for the 2016 campaign. “We want to build a squad for the Premier Division,” Dunne admits. “ We can consolidate our position in the Premier. What we did this year I’m not sure it will be good enough next year. We don’t know what way the format will be in the next few years so it is important we build to get things right.
“I’m not interested and I know the players and the club aren’t interested in being in this situation again next year. For us we have to improve, it is simple. In saying that there are a lot of players in our group who are playing a full Premier Division season for the first time. They are having to play 33 games. There is a bit in that. When I was young playing it took a number of years to get used to that. To be concentrated week in, week out, you’d be surprised there is a lot in that.”
Dunne wants United to have greater depth in the squad. “We lost a few players that we would have liked to keep, but you cannot make excuses. That was at the start of the season. Looking at our group we picked up injuries, we will have to get a stronger squad. I think we need to prepare a little more too.
“This year we relied on certain individuals in our g3oup who were training and playing week in, week out. I need to be relying on 20 players who can step in, step out to go do the business themselves, It is about a squad, the likes of Dundalk epitomise how important a squad is. You need to have strength in depth. We need to sit down to have serious talks and conversations within the club to see where we are going next year.”
Gary Shanahan’s opportunistic equaliser ensured United gleaned an important draw in Bray, and Dunne was satisfied to ‘get over the line’ at the end of a tricky fixture. “We didn’t perform to our full potential. There were individual errors and nervous bodies, but we got over the line. We are delighted to get a point. It puts us in a good position.
“From our point of view we want to be better than we were this year. We want to improve. The next game will build towards it. We want to build a squad for next year. For us to pick up a point our objective was achieved.”