Caulfield planning and plotting for second half of the season

Shamrock Rovers host Galway United in a friendly on Friday afternoon

Galway United manager John Caulfield.

Galway United manager John Caulfield.

“That is all part and parcel of it,” John Caulfield says about the constant challenge of being a manager. There is always something to be sorted, a problem needing solving.

Caulfield, though, does not want it any other way. “While the majority of the squad down tools, go away, and probably put it to the back of their heads the management are meeting and discussing, going through different things regarding performance of the first half of the season, the game against Cork, and coming back after the break - the training week we have ahead of us, what we are planning to do.”

Nonetheless the rest from training offered an opportunity to assess how the opening half of the campaign unfolded. Despite winning 12 out of 16 games, United still trail table toppers by a point in an intriguing SSE Airtricity League first division.

A friendly encounter away to Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium is now on United’s agenda tomorrow afternoon.

“You get to the halfway point of the season, I have said this all along, it is no harm for everyone to recharge the batteries,” Caulfield replies.

“It is exactly halfway, 16 games played, 16 games left. We will be back in for a very intense week this week, obviously we don't play on Friday night in the league so we will play Shamrock Rovers in a friendly match. We know how good they are, we will have to work really hard.

“It is a good match for us to have in the first week back. This week is all about getting days under our belt before the match, preparing ourselves for our first league game which will be away to Bray on Friday week.”

Being primed for a battle in the Carlisle Grounds will be critical for United, who have a bye from competitive action this week.

“It is unfortunate in some ways, but that is just the way it has bounced,” Caulfield says. “We knew that from the start of the season, but at the same time it gives us an opportunity to really have a strong, aggressive week this week.

“With the Rovers game on Friday, we know how strong they are so we know it will be a tough match. From that point of view it is a nice week to look forward to.

“Some of the other teams in the division will get a game ahead, but with Cork and Waterford after being called off it means the top three will still be on the same number of games when they all start back on June 17.”

Ever the competitor, Caulfield is relishing United’s return. “From our own point of view it is more about reflecting on what we did very well in the first half of the season and the things we didn't do well,” he says. “We know we have to improve on certain things, but it is good to recharge the batteries for everyone to come back fresh again.”

**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.


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