Two victories on the spin ensure Galway United will enter next Tuesday’s crucial clash with Drogheda United at Terryland Park heartened.
Solid displays in the successes over Bray Wanderers and Sligo Rovers have nudged Galway into a comfortable mid-table position, and another positive result against the Boynesiders would offer further encouragement. Alan Matthews’ rapidly improving outfit host Shamrock Rovers on Friday night, while Galway have a free weekend due to Derry City’s Europa League involvement.
Manager Ian Foster has been forced to tweak his training regime, but insists that his players will be primed for battle.
“Our normal week involves training Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and then a game on a Friday, but this week we will train Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Monday. It isn’t a nuisance really, in football I suppose you have just got to deal with fixture changes. It is just one of those things and we have to get on with it.
“We know how important a game it is next Tuesday because it gives us a great chance to put more points on the board. In the last four matches of the series we are away to Cork City, Derry City, Bohemians, and at home to Shamrock Rovers, and they will all be very tough matches so it is imperative we get something out of the game against Drogheda.”
John Russell’s crisp opening period goal was enough to guide Galway to a 1 - 0 win over Sligo last Friday, and while the midfielder was harshly red carded after the interval, Foster praised the passion his players exhibited under pressure.
"I was absolutely thrilled with the character we showed. Our backs were against the wall, and all our players dug in, every single one of them, and worked their socks off. They tracked runners and did the ugly side of the game. For young lads it is a great experience for them to do it.”
It wasn’t all about Galwegian sweat, though, because there was plenty of style too, particularly early on. "All our players are comfortable on the ball. That is how we train with a lot of small possession games, and it nice to see that we can go out and do it on the pitch aswell.
"It is particularly important to keep the ball against Sligo because they are very strong in the middle. Obviously it was more difficult to keep it after Russeller was sent off, but I was very pleased with how we kept it first half.” A similarly polished performance on Tuesday is craved as Foster’s promising young team strive for a third straight triumph.
Another cruel defeat was added to Mervue United’s list last Saturday at Terryland Park as David Grincell and the prolific Graham Cummins struck for Waterford United.
It was a tough climax for Mervue, who had contributed to a decent game, but Waterford are an efficient side, and they eventually overcame the home side’s spirited resistance.
Despite the loss Mervue will head for the capital tomorrow hoping to test one of the other promotion aspirants, Sporting Fingal. With Nicky Curran, Nigel Keady, Damien O’Rourke, and Kenny Farrell defending forming an adequate defence, and Mixie Harty and Gary Traynor willing in midfield, Mervue are intent on thwarting Fingal at the Morton Stadium in Santry.