Connor seeks crowd support for crunch tie with St Pat’s

Salthill Devon captain Brian Geraghty  heads off  Galway United's Karl Sheppard to the ball in action from the FAI Ford Senior Challenge Cup at Terryland Park on Friday night.  Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Salthill Devon captain Brian Geraghty heads off Galway United's Karl Sheppard to the ball in action from the FAI Ford Senior Challenge Cup at Terryland Park on Friday night. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Having climbed into a healthy position, Galway United will be hoping to commence the last series of league matches by delivering a decent result when St Patrick’s Athletic visit Terryland Park tomorrow.

Victories over Bohemians and Drogheda United injected Galway’s cause with six valuable points and Monday’s comfortable 3 - 1 FAI Cup success over Salthill Devon booked a quarter-final date with Shamrock Rovers.

Unsurprisingly manager Sean Connor was content with the display as Salthill, who had proven rugged opponents in the original encounter which finished 1 - 1, were eventually burned.

"I am happy and, to be honest, I was happy after the first game too after watching the DVD again. It was like a game of keep-ball and in the replay we started like we did on Friday. The difference, though, was that we got an early goal which settled us down and gave them a little bit of a struggle.

"I thought we could have been two or three up at half time because we created some great chances. You have to be happy when you are creating chances. We knocked the ball about quicker and we played a lot of good football with everything to feet. We didn't just knock it long. We kept it and we worked it and we have worked a lot on that recently.”

As a result of United’s advancement, Connor is hoping to boost his playing squad following the loss of Anto Flood, Bobby Ryan, and Thomas Heary.

"We have let go some good, experienced players like Anto Flood, Bobby Ryan, and Thomas Heary. I have players lined up and maybe now that we have a cup draw against Shamrock Rovers, the club may let me do something. Financially it is a huge game for us and though we would have liked a home draw, you just have to get on with it.”

Despite the departures, Connor and assistant Gareth Gorman have given a raft of local youngsters appearances at the highest level, but the Galway boss remains baffled by the poor attendances.

"While other clubs were adding players, we had to take away from our squad, but we have kept ourselves going by getting out of the bottom three and we are in the quarter-finals of the Cup.

"It has been hard work. Even at the two Salthill games, you can get very frustrated because of the crowd. You have to worry because it is strange that people aren't responding to what we are trying to achieve.

"I feel that we are trying to do things the right way. We have some good young players here, we introduced a few of them in that game, while several others have been involved with us coming through the ranks so we are doing everything local people have asked for. The crowds are poor for us and that is disheartening. We speak to the players all the time and tell them that we just have to do our business. Ultimately what we want to do is finish above Dundalk and stay in this league on merit.”

Connor accepts that tomorrow’s tussle is hugely importance for Galway while other fixtures in the division will be monitored with interest too.

"Friday's a massive game for us and we are on a nice unbeaten run at the minute which is encouraging. We have caught a bit of form, but Pat's are one of the teams that we haven't taken any points off.

"Physically they are a bigger team than us and that could cause us a few problems, but the confidence is high at the moment. Dundalk play Bray and UCD play Drogheda so it is a vital weekend for all the teams and lots could happen. We need to pick up something from our game to keep us in a good position. I am very happy with the run and what these players are achieving is fabulous.”

• Galway United Supporters Trust will be holding a barbecue on Sunday at the Commercial Boat Club, Woodquay (2.30pm ). Terry the Tiger and Galway United players will attend and the All-Ireland Hurling final will be televised. All United supporters, family and friends welcome.

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