United face demanding Cup tie against the Hoops

John Caulfield's side have put together a six match unbeaten run in the SSE Airtricity League first division

Experienced Galway United defender Stephen Walsh.

Experienced Galway United defender Stephen Walsh.

A trip to Tallaght Stadium for an FAI Cup first round clash against Shamrock Rovers is next on the agenda for an improving Galway United tomorrow (8pm ).

Injuries and Conor McCormack’s suspension mean United will be without a string of important performers, but manager John Caulfield is ‘looking forward’ to facing Stephen Bradley's accomplished Hoops outfit.

Amazingly United have not defeated Rovers in the capital since 1994 which perfectly illustrates the daunting task ahead. Caulfield is still delighted that several youngsters in his squad will be afforded an opportunity to examine their potential in Dublin. “We are really looking forward to the game, we are going to the champions, the top team in the country, it is going to be a good outing,” Caulfield says.

“It will show the lads the level they are at, the level we hope to aspire to be at. We decided that, obviously a number of players haven't played many matches, we've had a number of lads on the bench, we had already decided we were going to give game time to a number of our lads because we have a tough league campaign.

“The following week we are starting the run in away to Wexford, some guys haven't got as much game time in the last six or seven weeks. We plan to mix it up, to give a number of lads game time.

“We are looking forward to it, to play in Tallaght, a beautiful stadium, Rovers a massive club, it will be a good experience for us. We will be preparing well, but at the same time we will be realistic that it is against the top team in Ireland.”

Having put together a six match unbeaten run in the SSE Airtricity League first division, Caulfield is satisfied with United’s encouraging form.

“Unfortunately we will have four out injured and Conor McCormack is suspended,” Caulfield says. “So as a result we will have a number of lads coming in getting game time. From that point of view we know it will be a hard night, we know how hard we will have to work, but it is good.

“When you are playing a team at the top of the league it is always good to see the level they are at and what we need to do to get to that level. It will be a great experience for us, we are looking forward to it.”

On Friday United divided the spoils with Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds. United crafted several good opportunities, but Bray goalkeeper Brian Maher made a string of decent saves to thwart the visitors.

“I think our performance was really good in the terms that we were well in control of the game, we passed it very well, we created a number of chances,” Caulfield says.

“It was a strong performance from us. The disappointment was we created a number of chances and we didn't take one of those chances. Certainly our play was very good.”


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