Cabinteely host Galway United in a vital SSE Airtricity League first division fixture at Stradbrook tomorrow evening (7.45pm ).
Having lost to Athlone Town a fortnight ago John Caulfield's team, who have subsequently played two friendlies against Salthill Devon and Mervue United, will be anxious to respond in the capital.
A strong United side overcame Salthill at Drom on Friday, while on Tuesday evening a mixture of U19 and first team players were beaten by Mervue.
Despite having no competitive fixture since August 20, United head coach Lisa Fallon believes the players and backroom staff have used the time wisely. “That extra week, while you would always still want to be in the cup, it gave us an extra week to work on things,” she says.
“A couple of lads who had little knocks were able to recover from those. It gives you a little bit more time on the training ground to get into stuff that you might not have had the opportunity because on game week it is very much focused on what we need to do in that game and what the execution of the game plan will be, how we are going to do that, bringing all of that alive on the training pitch.
“The extra week was beneficial in many respects, both from a recovery perspective, but also getting that extra little bit of time. Since we have come back in on Monday we have very much focused on the Cabinteely game.”
Enthusiastic about the possibilities that exist with United, Fallon stresses the value and importance of creating a sustainable structure.
“It is a work in progress, it does take time to build these things,” Fallon says. “I think all the Galway United supporters can really see the development of the team, how the team is progressing.
“You want to win every week, but you know that is not always going to be the case. Sometimes when you are winning games all of the time, you get that bit of momentum.
“A defeat can be a real wake up call, it can highlight things that need to be worked on. It is always going to be a work in progress, we were really disappointed with the performance in Athlone, particularly coming after the win against Shelbourne the week before where we had got such a good level of performance from the team.
“It was a strong performance and for it then not to click in the same way against Athlone was something everybody was disappointed with.”
While that result in the midlands was a setback, significant cause for optimism still exists according to Fallon. “It does take time to create a culture, any new group it does become its own group and gets its own identity,” Fallon says.
“It generates that culture piece, but the values we are instilling, the work ethic, the demand for that level of consistency. That is what it is all about.
“We can certainly see, and I would like to think Galway United supporters can see the development in the team both in possession and out of possession. Not everything is where we want it to be just yet, that will continue to evolve over time.”
The journey continues and Fallon remains excited about United’s considerable potential. “Certainly I think from where we were right at the very start of the season to where we are now, I think we probably could be a little bit better in terms of where we are in the table, but I still think we are in a good place going into the final run of games,” she adds.
“The most important thing is that we make sure we are there or thereabouts right at the end of the season. We need to keep focused on winning matches, doing what it takes to win games to see where we are at the end of the season.
“This season, regardless of the outcome, is a platform for next season, all the work we bank this season will be the basis for what comes next."