It has been a most demanding and disappointing start to the SSE Airtricity League First Division for Galway United, who make the short journey to Lissywollen tomorrow evening for a clash against Athlone Town, kick off 7.45pm.
Six one goal defeats in seven matches have been suffered by an inexperienced United outfit, who were beaten 1-2 by Cobh Ramblers at Eamonn Deacy Park last Friday. Despite an improved display United failed to earn anything from the game ensuring they dropped to bottom place in the standings ahead of the trip to the midlands.
With a considerably reduced budget compared to previous seasons manager Alan Murphy has faced a most difficult task, but the United boss is content with the attitude and application of his squad. “I'm looking forward to every game, I'm working with an exceptional bunch of players who want to learn,” Murphy says.
“They want to learn from their mistakes, but it is like everything in life. You learn from some mistakes quickly and you don't learn from others.
“Then other mistakes pop up and they will haunt us again. Different mistakes were made tonight, but we will work on it. Hopefully soon it will turn around and we will end up winning a few on the bounce because we don't make the errors.”
Murphy felt that United showed some signs of improvement during the Cobh encounter when a couple of lapses of concentration were punished by the visitors.
“To be honest I thought we gelled a little bit more upfront,” was Murphy’s assessment. “I thought we created, that is what I asked for and that is what we got. Obviously I wanted us to convert the chances, but we created them.
“I thought Conor (Barry ) and Vinny (Faherty ) gelled well at times, I thought Conor Melody and Dara (Costelloe ) were really dangerous. That is the positive and work with those to try to fix those errors.
“I thought in the first half we were unbelievably unlucky not to possibly score two or three. That is the way it is going, if you are at the top they go in for you, if you are at the bottom they don't.”
Though it has been a struggle Murphy was always adamant that this campaign would prove to be littered with tough moments.
“Coming in this season, with the way it has been did I come in thinking we would excel and win the division straight away, I think I'd be crazy to think that,” Murphy adds.
“We have been competitive in every single game we have played in, that is a huge positive for the work we have done in the off season in terms of gathering a young group of players together trying to make a League of Ireland club out of them.
“We are trying to sustain this club and bring us forward whether they are baby steps or big steps at times. That is the way it is going to go.”
The mission now is to accumulate points by stitching a run together and the match with Athlone offers United an opportunity to climb the table.
*Galway United Friends Co-Op is running a bus to Friday evening's match at Athlone Town Stadium, leaving Crowes Bar, Bohermore, at 6.pm. Seats can be booked by contacting Stephen Dowling at 086 2361040 or Kenneth Keady at 085 1083930.