United crave cup run to aid the coffers

It promises to be an interesting FAI Cup encounter at Terryland Park tomorrow (7.45pm ) when Galway United host Salthill Devon.

The derby contest should attract a decent crowd to the Dyke Road venue as both teams will be seeking to maintain their improved recent form.

Salthill, bolstered by some recent additions to the squad, have been highly competitive in the first division over the past month and will be eager to examine their development against top-flight opposition.

Though Galway were fortunate to escape with a 2 - 1 victory over Drogheda United last Friday, manager Sean Connor is eager to embark on a blue ribband adventure.

"Financially a cup run would be a huge boost for the club,” he says. “Winning matches is great for players and the more matches you win the better. The Drogheda win was a massive three pointsm there is no mistaking that.

“ I know we weren't as poor as we showed and thankfully Stephen O'Donnell had the character to step up and did very well. Barry Ryan made some good saves and showed what a good keeper he is, but missing Rhys Meynell and Paul Synott proved to be big losses.

“ The win against Drogheda is great and we are now in control of our own destiny. We have to win the games against the teams around us and if we do we have a great chance.”

It was also the first time this season United had put two wins back to back.

“If you include the Liverpool game, it is three wins. We have a little break from the league next weekend in the cup and, if we win that, it would be four games in a row, but we certainly have to play a lot better than we did against Drogheda if we are going to catch Dundalk.”

In the League of Ireland fortune frequently favours the brave and Connor was delighted that the gods finally smiled on Galway.

"I think that is the worst we have played all year. It was very evident that we missed the two players who were suspended and with what was at stake I felt we were a bit nervous and a bit edgy. We certainly didn't get the ball down and pass it any way near the way we can pass it. But there has been occasions this year when we have played superb football here and we haven't got the results so I will take it.”

However Connor warns that United cannot afford to play as poorly now they are heading into the business end of the season.

“We rode our luck, but maybe we deserved a bit of luck.”

Connor is adamant there is plenty of potential in the west, highlighting that Steven Walsh and Gary Kelly have broken through to earn first-team action.

“We have a good host of young players, but I don't like throwing them into pressure games because it is not fair on them. I have seen enough of Gary Kelly to think he will have a good future at this level, as does young Walsh, and Shane Keogh. These lads can play when the time is right.

Connor says he is already trying to build towards next season and has spoken to a few players.

“Ultimately I judge myself on the first team and I want to be in this league on merit and not through a play-off. We want to finish above three teams.”

A cup run is also craved and this Corribside tussle with Salthill could be lively.

• Galway United Supporters’ Trust will hold a barbecue at the Commercial Boat Club, Woodquay, on September 5 (2.30pm ). Galway United players and Terry the Tiger will be in attendance. All United supporters, family members and friends welcome. Tickets for the barbecue will be on sale at Friday’s FAI Cup match at Terryland Park.

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