Galway United manager Shane Keegan is expecting a "tough" SSE Airtricity League first division test against Cobh Ramblers at St Colman’s Park on Saturday (3pm ).
While Keegan can take great encouragment from United's opening night 4-1 triumph over Athlone Town at Eamonn Deacy Park, Stephen Henderson’s Cobh demonstrated real drive and desire to earn a point from their trip to Longford Town, clawing back a two-goal deficit to draw with the midlanders.
Inspired by Danny Furlong, with a hat-trick, and a fine effort from teenager Ronan Manning, United were far too powerful for an inexperienced Athlone.
Keegan, though, is adamant United will continue to improve in the coming weeks and months.
“Some of our passing and first touches were very sloppy, it wasn’t anywhere near sharp enough,” Keegan remarked following the win. “I would say Athlone weren’t far behind us in terms of goalscoring chances. We took almost every goalscoring chance we had.
“Danny [Furlong] was extremely clinical. My get-out-of jail-card was we looked like a team that had not done a whole lot together and that’s because we are a team that hasn’t. We need to get better, fast.”
United must be primed for a battle as they travel south armed with their sharp finisher. Furlong’s opportunistic strikes delighted the locals in a reasonable 1,200 crowd at the Dyke Road venue.
“I’ve said it before, of all the players I’ve managed to coach, Sean Maguire and Danny Furlong are head and shoulders above anything I’ve had the opportunity to coach, he’s absolutely lethal. He showed that from the off.”
And the striker who was selected as the SSE Airtricity League Player of the Week, was satisfied United earned a victory on the banks of the Corrib. “It’s three goals on your debut," said Furlong. "I suppose it doesn’t really come much better than that and more importantly, three points.
“The performance probably wasn’t where we want it to be, but sometimes you’re not going to perform at your best - you still try to come out with a win, that’s what we did.
“I’ve only been training for a week, but we’re going to be working on everything for the next week or two and rectify any mistakes we might have made in the game. We’re only going to get better. We can’t be too negative. We’re looking forward to Cobh now.”
• Galway United Friends Co-Op is running a bus to Cobh on Saturday, leaving The Dail Bar at 10.30am. Contact Dominick Walsh 087-9163438 or Ronan Coleman 087-6972823.