Encouraged by an unbeaten three-match run, Galway United make the long trek to the Brandywell tomorrow for another important SSE Airtricity League premier division encounter against Derry City.
United have claimed two wins and a draw so far, but manager Tommy Dunne was disappointed leaving the Showgrounds without full points on Monday evening after Liam Martin guided Sligo Rovers ahead in the first minute before United responded courtesy of a sharp Ruairi Keating equaliser.
“We were extremely disappointed when we went into the dressing room afterwards,” Dunne admitted. “It was our own fault because at the start of the game we weren’t focused in certain areas so we gave away a soft goal. It was a soft goal.
“After that I thought we dominated the game. We had chances to score on numerous occasions. We tried to close out the game, but for me it is two points you won’t get back. I think the opportunity was there to get three points, but we didn’t take it.”
So impressive when defeating St Patrick's Athletic and Bray Wanderers, it still has been a satisfactory opening fortnight for the Tribesmen.
Despite a costly early lapse in concentration, Dunne was enthused by how United fought back in the north west.
“I thought we started very well against Pat’s. It isn’t that we didn’t start slowly, it was that certain individuals didn’t start right. You have always got to earn the right to play in a game at the very start.
“You have to do your mundane things like battle, play forward, do certain things until the game settles down. We didn’t do that. We were punished by giving away a soft goal at the start of the match, but after that I couldn’t fault the guys I thought they were good.
“We controlled the game, we created chances, we were dangerous, we looked good at the back. Everything else we did was good, but to be honest this was a disappointment even though we picked up a point at the Showgrounds.”
A demanding schedule ensures all top-flight teams face three fixtures in the space of a week, but Dunne is adamant the United squad is in good physical condition.
“I thought we looked good generally over the course of the game. We were moving well, we were aggressive in ways. One or two players were finding it tough, but it was the same for both teams. You just accept it and get on with it.
“Playing two games in such a short space of time, I don’t know what is the thinking on it especially for players who have only come off the back of a pre-season. They haven’t a huge amount of games under their belts and then they are asked to play three games in seven days. It doesn’t make sense, but that is the way it is. It is the same for everybody else. For me the bottom line is we’ve lost out on two points. Everybody is disappointed because we should have won.”
Now United make a demanding journey for a clash with the Candystripes, who have beaten Cork City and Bray Wanderers recently.
“Three points were up for offer in Sligo, but you don’t know what is going to happen in Derry, or the next few weeks in certain matches," Dunne says.
Important that United maintain the high standards that have been set, he says: "You have got to keep your momentum, to keep going about things the right way.”