In the ‘Discover Ireland’ tour that is the SSE Airtricity League first division significant mileage continues to be clocked up by Galway United, who make the long journey to Ferrycarrig Park tomorrow for a game against Wexford FC.
Friday’s impressive 4-0 win over Cobh Ramblers at St Colman’s Park featured goals from Max Hemmings, Ed McCarthy (2 ), and substitute Manu Dimas. Manager John Caulfield was pleased with United’s application.
“The main thing is that we prepared well because you always know it is a difficult game,” Caulfield says. “It is very easy afterwards when people see the scoreline thinking that it was an easy game. No game is easy.
“What you have to do is go in with the right attitude and right from the start we took the game to Cobh. To be fair for the first 10 or 15 minutes the game was very even. Max Hemmings got a very good goal from a good move that put us one up. Then Ed McCarthy got an unbelievable goal from the edge of the box into the top corner.
“That deflated Cobh a little bit because they had been on a reasonably good run of form. On the stroke of half-time Ed got another goal, that put us three nil up, and effectively the game was over. Manu Dimas got the fourth goal late on, so overall to go to Cobh to put in a strong display, to score four goals - obviously we were delighted.”
The versatility of a number of United’s players has been an important aspect of the campaign so far enabling Caulfield to change approach and formation. “That is what you have to do,” Caulfield replies. “Shane Doherty and Mikie Rowe have been out, and Oisin O'Reilly - they are all on their way back. Obviously we were 4-4-2 against Cobh, we have played that system quite a bit this year, and it has worked well for us.
“Other days we have played things slightly differently - mixed it up a bit. We just felt going to Cobh - it is a lovely ground, it is a tight venue - you need to be well able to defend set pieces because Cobh have quite a bit of pace in their team, they have good deliveries. We felt it was the right system to play down there - thankfully we came out with the result.”
Caulfield is expecting another stern test. “Wexford were very strong in the second half of last season, they have invested in some very big names for this season,” he responds.
“From the outset they will be looking at being in the play-off positions at the end of the season. We played them recently at Eamonn Deacy Park, we had a 1-1 draw, we got a late equaliser so we know how difficult it can be.
“As I keep saying, it is a new challenge to us, we have to work all week to prepare for a very tough game. You have to be at your best to have a chance of getting the points. They are a very dangerous team, they can cause lots of problems - they have won quite a few games this year. If you aren't at your best you won't win or you won't get a result, that is the way the league is. So we know what to expect when we get down there.”
With confidence and belief increasing, Caulfield is hopeful United can develop further. “I have said from the very start of the year that I think this is a very good bunch of players,” Caulfield remarks.
“They all really want to succeed with Galway United. They have improved over the last four months, but there is still a lot of improvement to be done. I see them every day, they train so hard, they want to do the right thing, they represent the club so well.
“Certainly when you win games it gives you a lot of confidence and a lot of belief. At the moment we are on a good run, but I keep saying it is the first half of the season. Every week we must try to do our best, that is why when you go away to Wexford on Friday night if you're at your best you have a chance of picking up the points. If you are not you won't. It is that consistency we are trying to have, week in, week out.”
**Listen to the full interview with Galway United manager John Caulfield on this week’s ‘Cian on Sport’ podcast available on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.