O'Keeffe optimistic about United's potential

Galway United face Athlone Town on Friday

Conor O’Keeffe’s relevance to the Galway United cause should not be underestimated. Injuries hampered the Mullingar native during the first round of fixtures, but since returning to the team O’Keeffe’s enthusiasm and experience has been crucial in momentum being generated.

Seven wins and a draw from nine matches suggests United are acquiring belief with Friday’s win over SSE Airtricity League first division leaders, Shelbourne, a noteworthy result. Seven points divides Shels and United with eight games remaining. “We are absolutely delighted because it was a big one for us,” O’Keeffe says.

“Obviously with the points difference going into the game it felt like we needed to close the gap to keep the title race alive. The performance was the most important part for us, we are just delighted. We started the game well, got an early lead, and just kept working hard all of the way through.”

Having suffered a loss against Cork City, O’Keeffe highlighted the importance of responding when Shels visited the banks of the Corrib. “It was good to bounce back, that is the sign of a team that is going places - that you don't allow two defeats in a row,” he replies. “To bounce back is very important, but against the team that is top of the table, it is even more enjoyable.”

With a full-time set up being implemented a period of adaptation was inevitable according to O’Keeffe. “It does take time, it is a new group,” O’Keeffe says.

“There are a lot of new players, players coming from different backgrounds, settling into life in Galway. You have all the Covid stuff going on too, so adjusting to everything takes time. You can see players getting used to the full time training programme now.

“You can see that in the performances. Obviously the first round of games was a bit disappointing, but the second round was much better - after the break we really kicked on.

“We have been doing really well - last week we had a bit of a blip, but it was good to bounce back. Hopefully the full time element will help us kick on, to give is an extra advantage.”

Attaining top flight status remains the objective for United. “There is huge potential,” O’Keeffe adds.

“You can see with the fans back how big this club is. Obviously it needs to be back in the premier division, that is the target and the goal we will all be pushing for the rest of the season.”

Next on the agenda is a trip to Lissywollen for an important encounter against Athlone Town, who defeated United handsomely at the venue earlier in the campaign. “It is a big game, we want to redeem ourselves for our performance there earlier on in the season,” O’Keeffe says.

“Every game you have to prepare properly, like we saw last week, if you don't prepare or play well for 90 minutes any team can beat you in this league.”

**Listen to the full interview with Conor O'Keeffe on this week's 'Cian on Sport' podcast available on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.


Page generated in 0.1477 seconds.