Tomorrow evening’s SSE Airtricity League first division encounter is loaded with importance for Galway United, who host Wexford FC at Eamonn Deacy Park (7.45pm ).
Bitterly disappointed to have conceded an injury time goal against Bray Wanderers last Friday, United manager John Caulfield wants his team to summon an instant response on home turf.
Despite the Bray setback Caulfield believes that United can still enjoy a productive campaign. “We have a very good bunch of guys, I see them every day, I know how hard they work,” Caulfield says.
“We just have to be at it from the start, to concentrate better. I'm sure we will improve. Ultimately it is a 27 game league until the end of October.
“You have to make sure you are in the pack in September, going into the last round of games. There is a long way until that. For us it is about seeing can we get back to winning ways on Friday, kicking on from then.”
Several clubs have delivered impressive displays and victories in the opening weeks of a highly competitive first division.
“It is that type of league,” Caulfield replies. “If you looked at it a couple of weeks ago Athlone were top of the table. Now it is Shelbourne and UCD. I'd predict that there will be a lot of changes. For us it is about trying to get consistency, on Friday night we need to win the match.
“Even though it is early days I still believe and keep saying that we have an excellent team. I believe they are a great bunch of guys, we have lots to work on. Giving away soft goals has been a problem for us. That is something we are constantly working hard on.”
Caulfield stresses the need to move on from the Bray loss quickly. “We were very disappointed with the late goal,” Caulfield says.
“We had played reasonably, I thought we played well. Certainly we started the game poorly, but when we came back to one all towards half-time we had three glorious chances, hitting the post twice.
“In the end to concede so late was very disappointing. We have an opportunity with another home game to put it right.
“While there was disappointment, that is last week, it is over and done with. You focus on the next game, we have been training hard all week, and we are looking forward to a tough game against Wexford.”
Defensive lapses have proven costly according to Caulfield. “At the moment we have probably conceded five or six really easy goals this year,” Caulfield says. “That is a lack of concentration really and it is something we are working very hard on.
“We have been working hard on it, they are good lads. It is an area of our game that we just have to improve. We are working hard in training to do that.”
Wexford have lost all seven competitive fixtures in 2021 with manager Brian O’Sullivan leaving the club by mutual consent on Monday. “Obviously we are after hearing their manager is gone and that they are going to appoint a new manager before Friday's game,” Caulfield says.
“There is always a bit of impetus with a new manager, they have a certain number of players, who have been around the league and are good players.
“For us it is about trying to make sure we start on the front foot like we did against Cobh a few weeks ago, that we start the game right. If we do that I think we will win the match. If we start slow like we did last weekend then you are putting yourself in trouble.”