By Cian O’Connell
Galway United, on the verge of equalling an unwanted club record of consecutive defeats, are completely aware that significant improvement will be required when the surprise packets of the 2011 League of Ireland season, Bray Wanderers, visit Terryland Park tomorrow evening.
Even though Galway United took the lead in last Sunday's FAI Cup encounter with Dundalk, the Tribesmen still crashed to an 11th defeat on the trot which is a most worrying statistic.
Manager Sean Connor did not attempt to decorate the truth as injuries and suspensions continue to mount with Sean Kelly stretchered off and Shaun Kelly red carded.
" I am disappointed with a capital D. It was a poor performance. We got in front, but our lack of confidence hasn't helped us. I probably played two or three people who could have done with another week and we have seen the consequence there. We felt we needed to get a win to stop the run, but it didn't really work out that way."
Connor expects Kelly to be sidelined for the season, for what he described as a “crazy decision”.
“ They said it was a genuine attacking opportunity, the referee was about to blow the full time whistle, and now Sean Kelly will be out for the rest of the season and I reckon as it looks to be a cruciate problem.
"Gary Curran twisted his ankle - he is just back following eight weeks out with a broken foot and he twists his ankle. Hopefully he will be ok.”
However Connor says Dundalk were the deserving winners.
“ They deserved to win the game, there is no doubt about that. In the second half we didn't create anything you could call a chance and that is worrying. But I don't think the refereeing was particularly good. I don't think he caused us to lose the game, but I think every 50-50 seemed to go their way which is frustrating. We just don't seem to be able to get a bit of luck at the moment. Shaun Kelly's sending off was harsh, that sort of sums up our season. I don't think it should have been a 4-1 defeat because the goals in the second half came from a harsh penalty and a freak free kick."
Despite the wretched run Connor says patience is needed and he hopes to reintroduce Jonathan Keane and Ian Rossiter to the Galway squad in the coming weeks. Considering the impact Mikey Gilmore has made, Connor is actively seeking to make more of these type of signings to increase his options.
"We would have liked to win in Dundalk because we want to stop this rot. That is 11 games now and we have to stop that somewhere. But I have repeatedly said that I have to stay calm and focused. I am frustrated because every time we get players back, we lose others. We hopefully will have Ian Rossiter and Jonathan Keane in the squad for Friday, we have signed them, and hopefully we can get them pushed through for Friday. We are going to be without Shaun Kelly and Sean Kelly so we have two in and two out."
At this stage of the campaign Galway simply need to terminate the miserable sequence that has seen them plummet to the bottom of the table.
With no cup distractions for the remainder of the year, the league is all that matters and the next month carries deep importance. Bray have posted many encouraging results, both at the Carlisle Grounds and on the road, but, if Galway make a busy start and gain in belief, the locals may have a rare cause for celebration.
• Galway United will hold open trials for the upcoming Airtricity u-19 League on Saturday at Westside Sports Grounds, Galway (2pm ). All players born on or after January 1, 1993, are welcome to attend. For further details, contact the club office 091-767336, or Ronan Coleman 087-6972823.