Galway United manager Shane Keegan hopes the Tribesmen can deliver an improved performance against Cobh Ramblers in tomorrow’s SSE Airtricity League first division encounter at Eamonn Deacy Park (7.45pm ).
Last Friday United suffered a damaging 2-0 defeat against a determined Shelbourne outfit at Tolka Park, and Keegan is hoping for an instant response.
“If it sparks a change and gets everybody wondering what they can do better, it can be a watershed moment. It actually happened to me at that exact venue, I came out of it a couple of years ago with Wexford about halfway through the season.
“We lost to Shelbourne there after an awful display and we went from there until the end of the season unbeaten. We won the league, so it can have that impact if the players and staff decide it is going to have that kind of impact.
“I think it is really, really important to use it like that and to use it as a stick to beat ourselves with to turn the whole thing around.”
Keegan acknowledges United need to become more consistent if a sustained push for promotion is going to be made. “That has been our problem so far, we haven't put two performances back to back, we haven't put two wins back to back,” he admits.
“There is no doubt we do need that. Friday night could be the catalyst for change, but it could also potentially cause some people to question themselves in the wrong way, to lose a bit of self belief.
“There are two ways to react. Either you go into your shell and start doubting your ability, or you take on the adversity and use it as the reason for the season to take off in a big way.”
Following the Shels setback United’s players and coaching staff held a lengthy meeting at the Drumcondra venue.
“We tried to cleanse it from the system straightaway,” Keegan says. “It must have been an hour before we left the dressing room. We did have a serious conversation, a serious look at ourselves, and a serious chat that served its purpose in immediately trying to go about getting the response we feel we need.
“We had the vast majority of the ball, we failed to create pretty much anything. I probably gambled on one or two players particularly in the final third in terms of fitness.
“That backfired on me in a major way when you look at how lacking we were in cutting edge in the top third of the field. Starting a couple of players who weren't 100 per cent fit was an error on my part.”
Though United have only offered glimpses in the opening two months of the season, Keegan is still adamant that his team can develop. “We are frustrated with how we are playing, we are frustrated with how we did on Friday night, but teams aren't getting away from us,” Keegan states.
“We are not a million miles away despite not fully clicking yet, and the points tally we expected to have. We are about to head into an important period where this is massive opportunities for us to start clocking up points and I believe that will happen.
“If nobody loses any confidence or faith and we pull together, we are going into a period where we firmly believe we can turn it around to get where we need to be fairly quickly.”
• Supporters can purchase two adult match tickets for €20 in advance at Duggans Spar, Renmore; Galway Arms, Dominick Street; McGinns Hop House, Woodquay; O'Briens of Galway, William Street. This offer only applies to tickets purchased in advance at these locations, and are not available on matchday at Eamonn Deacy Park.