Keegan demands more from his players in a crunch week

Galway United host Bray Wanderers in another important SSE Airtricity League premier division encounter at Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow evening (7.45pm ).

Despite falling behind at the Showgrounds last Saturday, United recovered to earn a point against Sligo Rovers with Stephen Folan netting an equaliser. However manager Shane Keegan wants United to deliver during a crucial seven days in which his team faces Bray, Dundalk, and St Patrick’s Athletic.

Following the Bray tussle United travel to Dundalk on Monday and also face the Saints at Richmond Park on June 30.

“The challenges are coming thick and fast,” Keegan says. “Three games in seven days is something we are fairly used to at this stage. I'd say we have played more Monday night games than any other team in the league really, but thankfully we have managed to handle them quite well. It was during the weeks of the three games in a week that we went on an unbeaten run.

“I don't know whether we got into the swing of things in that routine, but when we went back to the one game in a week we took a bit of a downturn again. I think the lads like having the three games in a week because everybody prefers playing games rather than training. They like when they come thick and fast. It is three opportunities in seven days to pick up points. That is the most important thing.”

Shaded the second half

Encouraged by the character United demonstrated again to fight back in the north west, Keegan was disappointed with aspects of the performance. “It was a poor game, any of the travelling support would say it was poor,” Keegan states.

“I thought we were well second best in the first half, I felt we were quite poor. We tweaked a few things at half-time, that got us back in the game as well as individuals upping their game in the second half. We probably shaded the second half, we had a couple of half chances towards the end when we could have nicked it, but it would have been a case of nicking it.

“I don't think over the course of the 90 minutes we did enough to truly justify three points. There is no point saying otherwise, but the slow starts are something we have to look at. We have chatted about it as a team, maybe we can alter our warm up or doing something different on match day.

“We need to change something because it has to be more than a coincidence now at this stage. We are giving ourselves a mountain to climb, we are showing tremendous fitness levels and character managing to comeback, but if we put ourselves in a position to go in front rather than having to come back, we would be very happy.”

Eoin McCormack has joined from Ballinasloe Town and Keegan is adamant the youngster can make an impact at League of Ireland level. “I think he has been really, really impressive. The lads are impressed with him, he gives us options. He is something we didn't have, a left footed attacker.”

Keegan is hopeful about adding another signing or two during the July transfer window. “First and foremost we have a fantastic club here, it has been through hard times before and a lot of people learned a lot of lessons during those hard times,” Keegan says.

“The club has to live within its financial means. While staying up is absolutely imperative, we have to do it within the financial constraints we are working in, but I do think there could be a little room for one or two rather than three or four bodies. They can't be new faces for the sake of new faces, they will have to be players with quality to fit in with the dynamic we have in the dressing room.”

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