Galway United manager Tommy Dunne is adamant that a "tricky and tough game away to Longford Town" awaits the Tribesmen in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division at City Calling Stadium on Saturday evening, 7.30pm kick off.
Last Friday’s stirring 4-2 success over Wexford Youths showed the potential of United, who controlled the game despite falling behind early on. Goals from Gary Shanahan, Vinny Faherty (2 ), and a splendid effort from skipper Ryan Connolly decorated a fine win for Dunne’s charges.
“We have to be happy with four goals,” was Dunne’s verdict. “That was something we felt we needed to rectify from recent games. We weren't maybe creative enough in the final third, maybe even not patient enough in the final third, but against Wexford we were.
“I thought we had a bit about us, I thought we performed in all areas of the pitch for the majority of the game. Three points was the most important thing. Again it is nice to score four in front of our own fans at home.
"We've had a tough time of it since the second phase of games started, whether it be ill discipline or not performing to the level we would have liked. When we have 11 players on the pitch we are generally there or thereabouts.”
With key players such as Colm Horgan and Stephen Walsh recently returning from injury Dunne feels there is a bit more depth to the United squad. “There was a good group on the bench. When we have everybody fit we will be competitive. I just thought the group was hungry, we've worked hard over the last two weeks. We had five training sessions the week before and then three tough ones the week of the match.
“That's a lot of sessions so we are going into games to make sure we push on. We have a tricky and tough game away to Longford Town. They are scrapping for their lives, but we are fighting ourselves. We are no way out of danger yet so that performance against Wexford was hugely important.”
Faherty’s brace was critical, but the manner in which the Moycullen native influenced the match was equally important according to Dunne. “I was delighted for him because he had found it quite difficult in recent weeks. We've had to work Vinny quite hard because of injuries and different aspects. Vinny has played practically every minute, he has found it tough so probably the rest of not playing games has worked in his favour.
“Overall the important thing for us is that we picked up the three points. Scoring four goals made it a good performance, could it have been better? I think so. Conceding the two goals was a negative. One of them we didn't react from a set piece. For me their second goal was poor from our point of view from our side, it was a soft goal.”
Teenager Conor Melody also excelled in an attacking midfield role and Dunne praised the work being carried out by United under 19 boss Johnny Glynn. “Conor put in a good performance, in fairness he has deserved his chance because he has worked extremely hard both on and off the pitch. He has trained extremely hard in the gym and he has got himself into a condition where he can play at this level. There was no doubt or question about his talent, it was just the physical aspect.
“We've a number of guys coming through with our under 19s. Johnny Glynn is doing a fantastic job with them. Guys are coming on strong, a number of guys there we are looking at. We hope to bring them into the group. From outside we would like to bring in one or two also.”
Galway United's Gary Shanahan celebrates scoring against Wexford Youth in the SSE Airtricity premier league game at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night.
Galway United's Kevin Devaney and wexford Youths's Chris Kenny in action from the SSE Airtricity premier league game at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night. Photo:-Mike ShaughnessyGalway United's Kevin Devaney and wexford Youths's Chris Kenny in action from the SSE Airtricity premier league game at Eamonn Deacy Park on Friday night. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy