Galway United host Bray Wanderers in the SSE Airtricity League first division at Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow evening (7.45pm ).
Last Friday Alan Murphy’s outfit squandered some decent chances before eventually dividing the spoils with Wexford FC at Ferrycarrig Park.
Following a comprehensive loss to Shelbourne, the manager said United’s display was an improvement, but it was still an opportunity lost.
“As a performance it was better than last week. I thought we were the better side, but not clinical enough in front of goal,” Murphy reflected.
“We created the best chances in the game. I think they had a free kick or two that Kevin [Horgan] wasn't really too bothered with. He made one good save, but we had a lot of possession in the first half, we didn't create an awful lot.
“In the second half we created much more, but we weren't clinical enough either on the day. Was it a fair result? I wouldn't think it was, we shaded the game. I think we were the more adventurous in the game. They were probably happier than us with the result.”
The experienced figures in the United squad, such as Iarfhlaith Davoren, Marc Ludden, Stephen Walsh, and Vinny Faherty, assisted the younger players, according to Murphy.
“We should have won it. Away to Wexford can be difficult, they were dogged, they brought a few new players in.
“Our guys are disappointed, but it is a step in the right direction. It is experience for the younger players, and we had some good performances from the younger guys. I thought Adam Rooney came back in, he did fine. Donal Higgins and Colin Kelly are just after doing their Leaving Certificate. Colin played 90 minutes, Donal played 90 minutes, that sums up that they have kept themselves in good shape.
"Iarfhlaith Davoren played, he did fine, he lasted the pace. They are all positives, I think the players were a little bit more at it. I think the four lads Vinny, Walshy, Marc, and Iarfhlaith stood up to help the guys. It is a work in progress.”
So far this season United have suffered two narrow losses against promotion-chasing Bray Wanderers, and Murphy feels his team will be competitive once more.
“I think we have given as good as we got against Bray and probably even a little bit more,” Murphy says. “But the lack of experience killed us up in Bray and probably at home. I think the players individually have come on a bit since the first game at home against Bray. I'd hope they learned some harsh lessons that night.
“It will be a real test because Bray have a chunk of experienced players, we are just getting some of ours back, like Iarfhlaith, who played in Wexford.
“We have choices to make. We had a few different changes in Wexford, some forced and some not. Joe [Collins] is only just back training. Other guys are chomping at the bit, and Conor Layng did very well when he came on for 15 minutes. He really showed that appetite, he looked a threat, his work rate was very good.
"It will be a different game against Bray, they will be on a high. We will have a go, and we will give more experience to players.”