Although there has been plenty to enthuse about in the spirited manner Galway United have competed in the opening fortnight of the League of Ireland season, there is no denying the stark reality that points need to be registered soon. Tomorrow’s Terryland Park encounter with UCD provides an opportunity to open the account.
Despite last weekend’s reversal to Derry City at the Belfield Bowl, the students have already posted an away win when defeating Drogheda United and they will arrive in the west fully intent on achieving another positive result.
Martin Russell’s squad will pass the ball in a pretty fashion, but there was sufficient evidence at Oriel Park last Friday to suggest that Galway have the character and desire to enjoy a reasonably productive campaign themselves.
Sean Connor’s sides are usually high octane and the Galway boss is encouraged by the grit and endeavour that has been demonstrated, albeit in losses against St Patrick’s Athletic and Dundalk.
"I think my teams have always been passionate, maybe sometimes over passionate. I am a great believer in passion and playing for each other, and playing to improve yourself and working hard for yourself. That is what we tried to do. One thing I can guarantee Galway United supporters is that every time we take the field we aren’t going to lie down or be a soft touch.What you saw was an improved performance on the previous week with a lot of guts and a lot of character.”
Connor said the goals United scored were well executed, yet his side came away with nothing.
“There was some good football in parts, with one very, very good goal. All that work was undone by a bit of naivety and we have got to learn from that. It is very frustrating though. When you come away from home and score two goals you expect maybe to get a point. I think that over the 90 minutes we probably deserved a point, but you don't get what you deserve in football sometimes.
" We are a part-time team in what is for the majority a full-time league and until we get a few more games under our belt, it is going to be a problem. Still, when you get to that situation at 2-2. irrespective of anything else. you should be able to see it out.”
With UCD arriving Corribside, Galway will be keen to eke out a victory and Connor admits it is in this type of fixture his players must deliver.
"We will be expecting to beat the likes of Bray, UCD, and Drogheda. We have gone to Dundalk and given them a shock, but they have gone on to win the game. We are disappointed and frustrated, but it is an improved performance and we have to learn very quickly about our roles in the team and the tasks you have to do as a player.
“We are still gelling as a squad. I think I have more balance and strength in depth than last season. I don't know how I have done it with the budget I have, but some of the boys here have restored my faith in football. They know it is going to be a difficult year financially for Galway United and they have given us that opportunity to work with them and to see if we can make things longer term next year.”
Connor is now hoping United fans return to Terryland on Friday to support their efforts.
“I am disappointed for the people doing the work off the field because there is a lot of good work being done. There are a lot of positive vibes around the town and the club, and hopefully people will have seen a bit of fight and determination and that will get them into Terryland on Friday.”