Crucial Galway United SSE Airtricity League contests are arriving 'thick and fast', according to manager Tommy Dunne, who is hopeful the Tribesmen can deliver when Bohemians visit Eamonn Deacy Park on Saturday afternoon (2pm ).
With seven points accumulated from the opening four fixtures, Dunne is reasonably content with United's start to the campaign, which also included a comfortable 3-1 EA Sports Cup first round win over the Mayo League on Monday.
Teenager Padraic Cunningham impressed during that success, netting a hat-trick in the opening 16 minutes as United cruised to victory.
“We started the game well, we had a good intensity about us,” was Dunne's verdict about Galway's triumph over the Mayo League. “Young Padraic Cunningham looked razor sharp at different times. He took his goals really well, especially the first one. That really set us up to get going.
“In the second half we were a bit sloppy, we didn’t keep the intensity that we had in the first half. We weren’t at the same level which encouraged the Mayo League. Overall we are through to the next round with a 3-1 win, a lot of guys got game time. We didn’t over extend too many players either so from my point of view it was a successful enough night.”
Dunne made nine changes from the team which had lost at the Brandywell on Friday against Derry City, including substitutes Evan Murphy and Andrew Connolly.
“Looking at the game it was always a difficult one. After the two weeks that we had guys are fatigued. Also mentally that can have an effect, but from our point of view I thought we had a good tempo to our game. That was important because it allowed us to score some good goals. We had some good play in general so overall I’m happy enough.”
Having defeated St Patrick's Athletic and Bray Wanderers, Dunne is slightly disappointed United only took one point from their trips to Sligo Rovers and Derry.
“You take each game on its own merits, we started well with two wins. The draw in Sligo should have been a win and we felt we should have picked something up in Derry too. It looks like we’ve dropped the guts of three or four points when you look at those two games. You just have to keep moving on. We are two points off the pace so I suppose at this stage that isn’t too bad. The only thing is you have Bohs coming to town now with games arriving thick and fast.”
Dunne is adamant United must not leak soft goals which was a damaging issue in 2015.
“They are all tough matches, so we have to make sure that we don’t start becoming a team leaking sloppy goals,” Dunne admits. "If you do that will cost you matches. I think that is the disappointing thing from the Derry game. The first goal we conceded bounced around the box and somebody got a finish on it. That can happen, but the second goal needed to be dealt with. The one we conceded in the Showgrounds was ridiculous. In saying that, we had enough chances to win that game a couple of times over. Overall the performances, effort, and mindset of the guys is good, but it is about winning games.”
One aspect that has been noticeable in the matches so far is the improvement in the depth of the United squad with Eric Foley and Cunningham impressing in the EA Sports Cup success over Mayo.
“There is a bit more depth there, but we have to make sure they are ready to play. That was Eric's first game for a good while. You can see he needs to get more game time. He just needs to get more training under his belt. From Padraic we are just looking for sharpness and his fitness right.
“We have picked up a few niggly injuries too from the Derry trip. That is what happens when you are playing four games in 14 days, it is tough going.”