Throughout the years Galway United have encountered plenty of bother at Oriel Park, but tomorrow Sean Connor’s side will be eager to take some kind of result from the trip to Louth.
While the opening night clash with St Patrick’s Athletic eventually ended in deep disappointment, there were signs that Connor has once again somehow brought promising footballers to the west. There were sufficient moments of quality from Shaun Kelly, Karl Moore, and Joseph Yoffe, demonstrating they can play significant roles for Galway during what promises to be another testing campaign.
Connor is a realist and is aware Galway are doing well to have stitched a squad together, but he still wants to enter every fixture seeking to rattle the opposition. The Pat’s loss was irksome because Galway contributed to their own downfall.
" I saw enough in the first 45 minutes to see we are not going to be a pushover. If we cut out those silly mistakes, there wasn't a lot in the game. When they went in two nil up there wasn't a lot in the game, they just kept things simple after that.
“You could see the difference in sharpness and fitness. We haven't had a good pre-season, in fact it has been the worst I have ever had to do as a manager. I have hardly been with the players, three deals were completed late on Wednesday, and I was out looking for more on Thursday. We didn't have that whole squad together once until the game and we are four weeks behind everybody else, but we cannot feel sorry for ourselves. We just have to get on with it.
However Connor is optimistic United will improve.
“ We have to take that one on the chin and just learn from the mistakes and hopefully we will improve. We missed Paul Sinnott, he was a loss, but we will be okay. We will get organised. I thought we dominated the first half, had the better chances, and should have taken at least one of them. That is a lesson and we have to learn from that quickly.”
Forced to work off a limited budget, Connor is content with the calibre of experienced player that he will blend with the local youngsters.
“Shaun Kelly was excellent in the first half - he wasn't really able to get forward in the second. I thought Shaun Maher was steady in the first half, Bobby Ryan did okay, but we never got the right to play football in their half of the field. Therefore everything we did in the second half was rushed and under pressure.
"My budget is nearly shot. I am happy with the squad I have got, we just unfortunately won't be training as much as I would like together because we have a few boys in Dublin. Over the next couple of games it will take shape and we will get there, I think we showed enough for me not to be too worried.
" With the budget we have we are short on cover up front and at centre half. There are one or two players who we can develop and they will take the opportunity and burst through. What we need to do is get through to July and try to be as competitive as we can. By then we will have Rhys Meynell back and I have a striker lined up for July and we might get the boys from St Mirren.”
Alan Murphy and new skipper Sinnott will be available for the Dundalk encounter and Connor heads to his former club optimistic of causing an upset.
• GUST will be running a bus to tomorrow evening’s match against Dundalk at Oriel Park, departing from the Pillo Hotel, Headford Road, at 3.30pm. Contact Sean Flaherty 087- 9696358. Season tickets remain on sale from Terryland Park; O'Briens Newsagents, William Street, Galway; Claddagh and Celtic Jewellers, Quay Street, Galway; The Square Inn, Athenry; and O'Briens Hardware, Main Street, Loughrea. Season tickets will also be on sale at Elverys Sports, Retail Park, Headford Road, Galway, this Saturday from 11am to 5pm.