United host perennial champions Shamrock Rovers

Conor McCormack of Galway United during the SSE Airtricity Men's Premier Division match between Galway United and Waterford at Eamonn Deacy Park in Galway. Photo by Tyler Miller/Sportsfile

Conor McCormack of Galway United during the SSE Airtricity Men's Premier Division match between Galway United and Waterford at Eamonn Deacy Park in Galway. Photo by Tyler Miller/Sportsfile

The RTÉ cameras will be trained on Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow night as Galway United entertain five-in-a-row chasing champions Shamrock Rovers.

The marquee fixture will raise the curtain on a bumper weekend of sport in Galway and will provide another stern test for United, who have battled admirably thus far.

Last Friday, they earned a 0-0 draw at home to Drogheda United. There was plenty of perspiration but little inspiration. Although the better team, the home side struggled to create clear-cut chances after a flurry of early opportunities.

Assistant Manager Ollie Horgan was reasonably content after the game. “We had two very good chances in the first 10 or 12 minutes. From there on, we can’t really complain a whole lot. It probably wasn’t a game for the purists. The wind out there was quite deceptive and only when you were out there did you realise how swirling it was.”

The best news he could offer when speaking to the press on Monday was that there were no fresh injury concerns after another tough encounter. He did confirm that there would be no reinforcements returning for Friday’s tie, confirming that Colm Horgan, Garry Buckley and Wassim Aouachria remain side-lined through injury.

It has been a sluggish start to the season by the lofty standards of the champions, having failed to win any of their opening four fixtures. Captain Conor McCormack was under no illusions however as to the challenge facing his side on Friday.

“We know Shamrock Rovers have great talent throughout their squad. They are serial winners. They had a bit of a slow start but they did that last year so it’s no problem to them. All the lads know what they have to do.”

“Regarding us, we are exactly where Galway United want to be. It’s what I came down to Galway for, to get them back into the Premier Division to be playing the likes of Rovers. As a player, you want to play the best in the country and certainly this Friday is going to be that. It is going to be a huge battle, but we will be there to compete.”

The skipper’s own form has been of the highest quality since his return to the top tier. This is particularly impressive given how injury disrupted his pre-season.

“I’m pleased to get back to full fitness. I’m feeling good. We have had a couple of good games and good results and I’m certainly enjoying it. This Friday is going to be the biggest game of the year for us. We know every game is going to be massive and we are really relishing it.”

It is a fixture that excites the imagination of the home faithful. The away ticket allocation could have sold out multiple times. Another bumper crowd is expected in Terryland on Friday. Having been competitive in every game thus far, there is optimism that United can continue in this vein.

Ollie Horgan was concise with his pre-match feelings. “It is going to click for them at some stage. The longer that is pushed out, the better for our sake. We are quite realistic. If they burn the place up on Friday night, it might be a bridge too far. We are hoping that they don’t.”

 

Page generated in 0.2388 seconds.