Having suffered a disappointing FAI Cup exit, Galway United will be especially eager to deliver an improved performance at Dalymount Park tomorrow against champions Bohemians.
The 1 - 0 defeat to Longford Town might have been a tad harsh on Galway, who dominated the contest but failed to dismiss the midlanders.
Galway were left to reflect on several wasted opportunities when Liam Lynch swept home an opportunistic winner.
United manager Ian Foster acknowledged his young team was not sufficiently ruthless.
“We’ve been naïve enough to be done on the sucker-punch, for all the possession we had. If you can’t win the game, you certainly don’t lose it, you certainly don’t get done at the other end. We deserved a replay, we had the lion’s share of possession, but we were just a bit naïve going forward.
“It was just one of those nights, It was a massive disappointment - a game we should never have lost, but we have and we’ve got to accept it and move on. We went 3-4-3 – two wingers hanging wide and three on the ball and we tried to go and win the game.
“They played with one up front for all the match and they beat us on the break – it shouldn’t have happened, but it has. You’ve got to learn, and learn quickly.”
Now Galway must respond with a display in Phibsboro. Bohemians are striving to claim another title, and will be expected to claim another crucial win, but Galway have shown glimpses of their ability on the road.
Before the mid-season break Galway could have taken something from a trip to Tallaght Stadium, but Shamrock Rovers held on for a win. A similarly solid Galwegian effort will be required as Bohemians remain a formidable outfit.
One of the Gypsies most accomplished footballers is former Galway midfielder Gary Deegan, who continues to attract cross channel interest. Brian Murphy is a smashing goalkeeper, while any defence containing Owen Heary and Ken Oman deserves the utmost respect.
Deegan scampers about the pitch, while Paul Keegan’s relevance to the Bohemians’ cause should not be underestimated either. In attack Jason Byrne and Glen Crowe are still prolific attackers so Shane Guthrie and Garry Breen will need to police them diligently.
Still it is in the centre of the park where Galway must match Bohemians’ zeal, and John Russell, who has been superb recently, has the skill to trouble the locals. Getting Russell on the ball will be Galway’s chief intention, and if a decent start is made, Foster’s side ought to be competitive in the capital.