Galway United manager Shane Keegan admits the SSE Airtricity League first division season is entering a crucial phase ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Lissywollen for a clash with Athlone Town, (7.45pm ).
Then on Monday the Tribesmen travel to Ballybofey for another key tussle with Finn Harps, and the week concludes with table-toppers UCD set to visit Eamonn Deacy Park on May 11.
Last Friday a Conor Barry brace and Alan Murphy’s record-breaking 75th League goal for United sealed a comfortable win over Cobh Ramblers. But Keegan says United is now heading into a massive period with three games in seven days.
“I sent out the boys the schedule up until the break. Including the Cobh game, we are looking at 10 games in seven weeks, so it is a hectic enough period and it is exactly what we need. We need games coming thick and fast if we are to get into our stride, which haven't been all season.”
Athlone, who have only registered one point so far in the campaign, are next on the agenda and Keegan is demanding a disciplined display in the midlands.
“They haven't been good - that is for sure,” Keegan says. “We can only worry about our own side of things and we need to be quite clever about it.
“We have three games in seven days; are we going to look for the same 10 outfield players to start all three games? Possibly not. If we are looking at a few changes, is it the Athlone one we are looking at making the changes in?
“Look, we will see, and we might chop and change, while still making sure we are professional about the job.”
United impressed during the opening period of the Cobh triumph, but Keegan was not too perturbed about how the game petered out after the restart, highlighting the importance of chalking up a clean sheet.
“It was a very efficient first half, we were well on top,” he says. “They allowed us a bit of possession, and I thought we used it very well and carved open a good few chances. Obviously Conor Barry took his two extremely well and he was brought down for the penalty, so he has had a very good day.
“The second half was a non event, bar the fact that we should have scored a goal at the death. The most important thing was it was efficient and we got the job done.
“ I would have preferred we won 6-1 or 3-0, I'd say 3-0. I don't mind saying it. I know supporters don't want to hear that, but I couldn't reiterat it more that there was going to be hell to pay if they conceded in the second half.
“You could argue that a little bit of luck stopped them conceding in the second half. We weren't exactly massively defensively solid, but we got our clean sheet, and we didn't concede from a set piece which was a big thing for us."