Galway United's fight not over yet, pledges Keegan

Galway United manager Shane Keegan remains hopeful the Tribesmen can avoid relegation from the SSE Airtricity League's premier division.

But they are not entirely in control of their own fate. They must beat Dundalk at Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow evening, while also hoping results elsewhere in the country work out favourably.

United need to defeat the champions and hope that either St Patrick's Athletic or Sligo Rovers suffer defeats in their respective encounters. Liam Buckley's Saints face Derry City at Maginn Park while the in-form Bit O'Red are away to Drogheda United.

"There is no doubt, we need a lot to go for us," Keegan admits. "First and foremost, we need to overcome the form team in the country. Essentially that is the only thing that we have any control over. That's what will take all of our focus.

"If we can put together the kind of performance we have been registering recently, then we should give them a really good rattle. If you play Dundalk at their very best, you're probably in trouble, regardless of how well you play, but you've got to hope that we give one of our performances of the season and that we catch them slightly below par.

"If we can do that, stranger things have happened. You get your three points and you're looking for the results elsewhere to see how things go. It's a big ask, from our own side, the part we have to fulfill, but I think we're very capable of doing it."

Disputed decisions

United were involved in another hugely controversial clash at the Markets Field against Limerick last Friday. Delayed for 25 minutes due to an apparent clash of colours, the match featured three penalties and United were denied a spot-kick in the closing stages.

That was one of several hotly disputed decisions during a match at which United conceded two soft goals before launching a gutsy revival.

Ronan Murray and Eoin McCormack grabbed goals for United, who had to settle for a share of the spoils.

"I think the game against Limerick was a perfect microcosm of the season in every way," Keegan says. "We are where we are for a couple of reasons. One of the reasons is we haven't been ruthless enough in terms of turning our goal scoring chances into goals.

"That applies to all the players, not just the strikers. That was evident in Limerick, we probably could have been 3-0 up when they scored, and I don't think they could have had any gripe whatsoever.

"The other that went against us, and what disappoints us, is the second goal we conceded. There have been goals this season that we were disappointed in the manner we coughed them up. Then, unfortunately it is the role played by a referee, and it hasn't been the first time this season."

Keegan says United are "not absolved of blame", though.

" We are where we are in the table because of a few factors. We weren't efficient enough in front of goal, we conceded sloppy goals, and from my side of things, at times getting tactics wrong, there is no way I can escape a portion of responsibility.

"There is no doubt we have received our fair share of poor refereeing decisions this year. The inability to send off Freddy Hall or to give the penalty to Eoin Mc [McCormack] at the end is just baffling."

Magnificent support

It meant the travelling United support left the Limerick venue aggrieved.

"We showed a tremendous fight in the second half, to play into a galeforce wind, being 2-0 down and to score two goals, plus missing a penalty and have another nailed on penalty turned down. To show that type of fight, given we were 45 minutes away from being relegated on the night was truly phenomenal."

Keegan also applauds United's supporters."The support was magnificent. To play into the away end in the second half was a huge help to us - they were trying to suck the ball over the line, it was so vocal and passionate. Our fight is not fought yet."

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