Reasons for optimism ahead of clash with UCD

Climbing the League of Ireland table is Sean Connor’s objective and Galway United will be hoping to edge closer to UCD by taking the full complement of spoils at the Belfield Bowl tomorrow evening.

The students commenced the season in smashing form, but they have encountered some turbulence lately so Galway have every reason to be optimistic heading for the campus venue. There was much to admire in the enthusiastic manner an under strength Galway competed against Dundalk even though the Lilywhites plundered an equaliser four minutes in to stoppage time.

Connor, who continues to earn plaudits for his pragmatic and passionate approach under severe financial restrictions, offered a fair assessment. “I was gutted not to get the three points we have thrown away wins a few times at home-Sporting Fingal, UCD, and Bohemians we did similar things. It is just so hard to take, especially with all the other stuff that is going on off the pitch.

We really needed that win to give everybody a lift and to close the gap on the teams ahead of us. “At this stage of the season draws at home are no good. Away from home you can take them as a positive and build them up, but at home we have to pick up maximum points as often as we can.”

Two of Galway’s more experienced players, Thomas Heary and Bobby Ryan, have been linked with moves away from Terryland Park, and Connor confirmed that there have been discussions with an another club. “I am being asked to cut the budget and you will then have to rely on kids and at this stage of the season a lot comes down to experience and decisions that players make at crucial times in games. That cost us against Dundalk. We don't know who will be with us, it is a week to week thing at the moment and it is tough. There is one club that is interested in speaking to both Thomas and Bobby and if they can come to an arrangement there they will obviously be gone from here.”

A streak of defiance remains in Connor, who is demanding that his young squad become adept at closing out games. “It is hard to motivate yourself, but it would be easy to feel sorry for yourself. It is up to me to lift the mood of the place, to make sure that people feel good, and we have to go again. “I think it is down to experience and making crucial decisions at the right time. We need to become a little more ruthless and a bit more clinical and not be satisfied with being plucky losers or putting in good performances.

“Every night should be about getting results because it is a results business. The good teams eke out results. We had enough possession and opportunities to make sure Dundalk wouldn't take anything from the game, but they did.”

Now Galway travel across the M6 for a high stakes contest with Martin Russell’s side, who are always keen to pass and probe. A Tribe success would move Galway to within three points of UCD and that is a significant incentive for the visitors.

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