An intriguing SSE Airtricity League first division season is unfolding with Galway United primed for another demanding encounter away to Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds tomorrow (7.45pm ).
Following a disappointing defeat to Cork City before the mid season break, United will be especially eager to respond.
On Saturday Bray drew with Longford Town at Bishopsgate with Caulfield acknowledging the progress made by Pat Devlin’s outfit. “Bray have made massive improvements over the last couple of months coming up to the break,” Caulfield says.
“We are looking forward to it and it will be our first game back after the break. We know how difficult it is to go to the Carlisle Grounds. We know it is going to be an extremely tough game. The second half of the season is starting, we need to play our best, we are looking forward to the game.
“With the free weekend last weekend it has given us an extra week to prepare. Bray were very impressive against Longford and certainly could have won the game. We know what their strengths are, but we also feel there are opportunities for us to get at them too.”
United drew a friendly fixture against Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght Stadium on Friday, while also playing another in house training game at the weekend.
“The break came, I feel, at a good time,” Caulfield says. “It is always good to recharge the batteries, it is good for the players to get away for a few days themselves. So certainly we have come back, we are in our second week.
“We had a very hard first week, we played an in house match and we played Shamrock Rovers too. We had to work really hard in that game. So we are back and we are all in good form, looking forward to the game and Friday night.”
Caulfield is firmly focused on ensuring United enjoy a productive campaign. “You are going in now with everyone halfway in the season, we all know where we are at,” he says. “Now the most important half - the second half of the season - is coming up. It will determine who will win the league and who will be in the play-offs.
“You'd love to start the second half of the season with momentum, but as I keep saying in our league anyone can beat anyone.
“When you go to Bray Wanderers against Pat Devlin's teams you must be ready to match the physicality and work rate. We know it is going to be a very tough game, but obviously we are hoping we can start off with a win.”
**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.