Boosted by the return from injury of four key squad members, Galway United manager Tommy Dunne is "optimistic" ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Dalymount Park for the SSE Airtricity League premier division clash against Bohemians.
Having made such an enterprising start to the campaign, Dunne was "disappointed" with United’s form prior to the mid season break.
“To be honest I feel we were a bit more settled at the start of the year and that helped us achieve the results we got,” Dunne says. “At the start of the second phase of matches we lost a bit of discipline and that impacted on the shape of the team. So that has been a disappointment because we had done so well early on.
"Of course we were disappointed with how some of the matches worked out. Looking at it now we were reduced to 10 men in two home matches against St Patrick’s Athletic and Sligo Rovers. In both of those matches we felt we had started well and it didn’t give us an opportunity to push on as much as we would have liked.
“That is in the past. We just need to get the group settled down again, we had a number of injuries, but they are beginning to clear up which will benefit us.”
Dunne says it is a "big plus" with Colm Horgan, Stephen Walsh, Kevin Devaney, and Padraic Cunningham all having returned to full training.
“The shape of the team wasn’t as good as the mid season break approached. We were missing bodies through injuries and suspensions. The break allowed the guys a chance to rest physically and mentally and we are now ready to get going again.
“We had a useful friendly against Shelbourne last Sunday. We were okay in the game, it certainly served a purpose for us. We are optimistic about what we can do.”
There is a degree of uncertainty with Dunne hoping to make a couple of signings in the upcoming July transfer window. “Obviously there is going to be a bit of movement, players coming in, and coming out, that will happen.
“We have a tough game coming up against Bohemians, and we will need to apply ourselves properly to make sure we are tuned in. Our mindset and our drive helped us secure results early in the season. I feel the players are very hungry to get going.
“It is going to be a difficult spell for all teams because matches are going to be switched due to some clubs being involved in European action. That isn’t ideal, but we aren’t going to be looking to use it as an excuse either, it just is the way it goes at this time of the year. We just need to deal with the different things that arise.”
Despite some regular first team players expected to move elsewhere, Dunne reckons they will still make valuable contributions before the end of the month.
“Yes, it can be tricky knowing that guys will be leaving, but in any professional sport, once you cross the white line, you play that game. You aren’t thinking too far down the line, so I don’t see it being an issue. When you are playing you shouldn’t let anything impact on your concentration out on the pitch. The lads are used to people coming in and going out at the club, and we expect that to happen before the end of July.”