Following a disappointing Bank Holiday weekend, Galway United host Finn Harps in a significant SSE Airtricity League first division encounter at Finn Harps tomorrow evening (7.45pm ).
United endured a poor 3-2 loss against Longford Town at City Calling Stadium on Friday before playing out a scoreless draw with Cobh Ramblers at St Colman’s Park on Monday. That only one point was pocketed from the two games was a blow to United’s promotion hopes, but manager Shane Keegan wants his team to respond on home turf.
“Confidence is the number one thing that we have to find, and if there is one thing that could help is for the supporters to do everything they can to try to transmit that energy to help us get that confidence to get us over the line,” Keegan says.
“In fairness to the supporters, it is a long drive down to Cobh on a Bank Holiday Monday. Yet there were hardy souls who committed to that, cheering the team on from start to finish. I find that fantastic in our current circumstances, I can't thank that group of supporters enough.
Keegan says his players are desperate to repay the fans.
“Your stomach is just turning when you aren't getting things right for people that are so behind you and the club.
“We are just so desperate to get it right for them, and if we can get off to a good start on Friday night, get everyone behind us, it has a snowball effect. They cheer us on, we will play better, they will cheer louder. That is the only way we can make things right.”
Harps suffered a defeat on Monday losing to Longford, but Keegan is an admirer of Galway native Ollie Horgan, who is in charge of the Donegal outfit.
“Ollie is somebody I have huge respect for a you know exactly what you are going to get with every one of his teams,” Keegan adds. “They will give absolutely everything they have for him and that will be no different on Friday.”
Despite United’s poor recent form Keegan remains adamant promotion can still be achieved. “Absolutely, I met with last year's captain Colm Horgan, who is obviously based down in Cork at the moment. He was at our game against Cobh and I chatted with Colm for 10 or 15 minutes after the game.
“He said they can't see any reason in the world why we can't qualify, at least, for a play/off. The league table shows that too. Once we fix this, and we will fix this, all of a sudden you get your points, you are back in the mix. I wouldn't certainly be giving up on going on to win the thing, to be perfectly honest about it.
“Colm said one of the big catalysts to the great second half of the season was Paddy Barrett arriving .Conversations naturally have started with players available and one or two are very close to being over the line in deals that could get done straightaway when the window opens on July 1.
“If you add those to the personnel, we have it would be good, but we just need to get a few results before that window comes.
“If you pick up those results, the next thing you have one or two fresh faces in the place, and you could get to the end of July in an altogether different world. It isn't going to happen until we get that confidence by giving the supporters something to get enthusiastic about.”