Galway United’s disappointing SSE Airtricity League first division season continued last weekend with two defeats ensuring tomorrow’s Eamonn Deacy Park encounter against Bray Wanderers assumes added significance.
On Tuesday a brief press release from the club revealed Alan Murphy would no longer be in charge of the Corribside club.
“Galway United FC can confirm that they have decided Alan Murphy will leave his role as first team manager at the club,” the statement confirmed. “We would like to thank Alan for all of his hard work and wish him all the best in the future. We will not be commenting further on the matter and will begin the search for a successor immediately.”
Ballinrobe native Murphy, United’s record league goalscorer, has been manager for two years during a transitional spell. While United’s performance levels were somewhat improved, the harsh reality is that only four points have been registered from the opening seven fixtures. Friday’s home loss to Longford Town was followed by a similarly harrowing defeat to Drogheda United on the banks of the Boyne.
That United have not chalked up a league victory in 2020 is another huge source of concern ahead of Bray’s visit to the west.
Bray, with a strong mix of established and emerging players, have accumulated 13 points under Gary Cronin’s stewardship, so United must be primed for a battle.
Significant improvement is most certainly required because hopes were high that United could make a serious promotion tilt. Unfortunately only four draws have been recorded, with defeats to Cabinteely, Longford, and Drogheda since the return to action, highlighting deficiencies in the Galwegian ranks.
Now the challenge is for United to acquire confidence by stitching a sequence of positive results together. However, since domestic football has resumed, United’s record is severely underwhelming with only two points secured from a possible 15.
Small nuggets of encouragement include Francely Lomboto’s emergence, Chris Horgan’s industry, and Shane Doherty’s willingness in attack. Ultimately, though, United must begin to show far more substance and steel if any sort of a bid for a promotion play/off berth is to be launched.
Longford and Drogheda were both sufficiently crafty to punish lapses in concentration in two matches where the Tribesmen’s application could not be faulted. Still, there is no denying or disguising the fact that United failed to avoid losing those fixtures and that is why the club currently sit second from bottom in the standings.
It is a worrying place to be for so many reasons, particularly during these hugely uncertain financial times, and the club is now intent on finding a managerial replacement. The time has arrived for the players to deliver, commencing with Bray’s visit and subsequently the imminent clash with top flight Shelbourne in the second round of the FAI Cup next week.