Manager Tommy Dunne insists "a tough game" awaits Galway United in tomorrow's SSE Airrticity League premier division clash against Finn Harps at Eamonn Deacy Park (7.45pm ).
Shamrock Rovers punished two costly Galwegian lapses in concentration at Tallaght Stadium last Friday, but Dunne wants his improving team to respond.
“It will be a tough game, we know that every game in this league will be demanding,” Dunne admits. “Regardless of being home or away, it is tough, but we are encouraged because we have been there or thereabouts in all of our fixtures.
"Even the Rovers game I was disappointed that we didn’t get something out of it with the chances that we had. In saying that, we need to be a bit more clinical, that is the bottom line.”
United failed to convert a string of gilt-edged opportunities in the second half as the Hoops eventually prevailed. “Those are the fine lines between all the teams," Dunne acknowledges. "Look at Finn Harps, at home they beat Derry City. I know this game is at our place, but I’ve no doubt how tough it will be. I watched them against Sligo Rovers, they are strong and dogged. Even though Sligo had the better chances, Harps always kept themselves in the game. It is certainly a difficult game for us.
“We had chances against Rovers, there is no doubt about that. We have already looked back at other games saying we left points behind us, but over the course of the season it will even itself out. For us we just have to be positive, to look forward.”
The fact that United defeated Bray Wanderers and Bohemians in the top flight, and the Mayo League in the EA Sports Cup during March bodes well according to Dunne.
“It is one thing having a good start, but what matters most is maintaining the standard you’ve set. We’ve five matches left in the first phase, we want to get a good tally of points, regardless of who we play.
“We feel the group is more adjusted and ready to play at home. That pressure we had last year we can cope with it now. We weren’t handling it properly; this year I feel we look better. But Finn Harps are dangerous from set-pieces and in general play.
“They will come here, they will try to dog it out. For us it is a great match, one I feel the players are really looking forward to. We are disappointed with some of the goals we are giving up, they aren’t goals that teams have to work hard for, that is a worry.”
Dunne is hopeful Conor Winn, Alex Byrne, and Stephen Folan will all be available for injury, while highly regarded recent recruit Armin Aganovic continues to train following a knee complaint.
“Conor Winn should be available for selection all going well, Alex Byrne is getting closer,” Dunne says. “Stephen Folan trained early in the week, so we are nearly at full strength now. The only other one is Armin, who is about two weeks away.
“We have to make sure people understand that it is precious to keep the jersey, that they have to work hard to keep it. When you have continuity and balance in the team, you have to keep it.”