Foster hopes his youngsters will embrace Tallaght challenge

These are interesting days in the League of Ireland, and the splendid Tallaght Stadium will provide an ideal backdrop for tomorrow’s high stakes clash between Shamrock Rovers and Galway United.

Heavily involved in an intriguing title race, the Hoops will be backed by a passionate 5,000 strong crowd, and it will be interesting to see how a young Galway outfit, also requiring a positive result, cope with this scenario.

Manager Ian Foster hopes Galway will embrace the considerable challenge.

“It’s not an easy place to go. It’s their last home game of the season, I’m sure it’ll be a sell-out, and it will be an intimidating place to go. I don’t think Shamrock Rovers are as good as Bohemians, not on paper and not on the pitch, but we’ve got to sort out our consistency.

“They’re all young boys and they want to do well and it’s a fantastic platform to showcase their talents.”

Despite being defeated, Foster was pleased with aspects of Galway’s performance against table-toppers Bohemians last Friday.

“They’re miles above where we are at the moment. It’s about bridging gaps and it’s a long bridge at the moment.

“What we had to do was not capitulate which is what we’ve been guilty of, particularly in Drogheda which disappointed me. What pleased me is they kept doing the right things, they kept trying to play, trying to play forward.

“ The workrate of the players I thought was fantastic, I’ve got no complaints, they’re a fantastic side, they’ll be champions this season. I just hope we can replicate that performance in our next two games.”

Rovers’ loss to Cork City permitted the Gypsies to reclaim first place in the standings on October 20, but with 180 minutes of football remaining the Hoops still believe that their foes can be eclipsed. With St Patrick’s Athletic at Drogheda United, crucial matches are arriving thick and fast for those seeking to avoid a play/off, and Galway know that a composed performance will be necessary in the capital. With Rovers under duress, this fixture should not be short on drama.

• Galway United Supporters’ Trust will be running a bus to Friday evening’s premier division match, departing from Fibber Magees, Eyre Square at 9pm.Contact Ronan 087-6972823.

Mervue United

FAI Cup finalists Sporting Fingal visit Terryland Park on Friday night as Mervue United’s maiden season in the first division drifts towards a testing finish.

Manager Johnny Glynn has repeatedly stressed that this season was all about absorbing lessons, and Mervue’s young players will face an accomplished outfit packed with experienced League of Ireland operators.

Fingal’s squad is sprinkled with plenty of talent, and Mervue will need to nullify the promptings of former Leeds United midfielder Robbie Bayly, who can pass and probe. Alan Kirby, Conan Byrne, and Eamon Zayed have been among the goals recently, and Mervue would certainly be content to avoid defeat.


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