Galway United, short on confidence following six defeats on the spin, will be hoping to arrest their slide when Bohemians visit Terryland Park tomorrow evening.
That Galway are currently the Gypsies’ bogey team will provide a drop of hope, but all the recent evidence suggests this could be another exacting evening on the Dyke Road.
Galway’s last win occurred on March 25 at Dalymount Park when a slice of Joseph Yoffe opportunism gave Sean Connor’s side their only victory of a difficult campaign thus far.
Since that success Galway have only managed to register a paltry one draw and that is why they are now nine points behind third from bottom UCD. The comprehensive way Galway were defeated by the students on Monday is worrying and the manner of these reversals is bothering manager Sean Connor.
Against Dundalk the previous Friday, Galway’s set piece frailties were exposed and Connor wants his players to embrace the challenge they face. "I was very disappointed because in the first 25 minutes I felt there was nothing in the Dundalk game. They looked a bit jaded, a bit leggy, and they were waiting for something to happen.
“Once they scored, that sucked the life out of ourselves and again set pieces hurt us. The first goal was the big one and it was down to poor marking at set pieces. I thought we shaded the start of the game, we started brightly and went about our business well. They are a good side with some good players, but we competed and I felt that we were in the game and there was nothing really happening.
“Their goal was one of their first attempts on target, but when we concede a goal, it seems to suck the confidence out of us. We have to get over that very quickly and I spoke to them after. Sometimes the pressure to deliver at this level is tough, but we have to start learning to accept the pressure and accept the situation we are in and not be overawed.”
Last season Galway made a string of passionate revivals to eke out some gutsy draws against high-class opposition, but the same spark is not there this time around.
“I can put my finger on why we haven't been making these comebacks - we have no Karl Sheppard, Stephen O'Donnell, Rhys Meynell or Anto Flood.”
Bohemians, with a mix of youth and experience, will be keen to glean three points in the west and their supporters have not enjoyed the last five encounters with Galway. Somehow Connor has guided Galway to four victories and a draw despite the limited resources, but even though there is a sprinkling of youth in the Gypsies squad, they have a raft of proven players at this level.
Owen Heary, Liam Burns, Aidan Price, Ollie Cahill, Mark Rossiter, Robert Bayly, Killian Brennan, and Flood are all capable footballers, while Stephen Traynor, Chris Forrester, and Gary Burke are promising youngsters who have progressed through the Belvedere ranks.
Galway need to be solid at the start and eradicate the lapses in concentration that simply will be punished at this level. It will not be easy, but Galway must start to pocket points soon before the necessary adjustments are made to the maroon squad in July.