As Galway United's season defining play-off dates edge closer, few associated with the club will deny the importance of the next month as John Brennan continues his preparations for those two critical matches with a Saturday night Terryland Park tussle against Drogheda United.
Last Saturday brought the latest humiliation in a lengthy list of losses as title challengers Sligo Rovers demolished Galway by 7-1. Having suffered an eight-goal defeat in their previous meeting, Sligo are operating on a different planet.
Survival is what is dominating Galwegian thoughts, but as the comprehensive defeats continue to mount, Brennan has an extremely demanding job in attempting to have his team primed for the testing challenges that await. This weekend's clash with Drogheda might only be a run of the mill league encounter, but for Galway it carries importance. Raising the performance levels considerably is what Galway must embrace as injections of hope and confidence are craved.
A young team leaking goals at an alarming rate - 99 have been conceded in the top flight - Galway need to be safe and secure at the back. Brennan gave John Egan a run between the sticks in the Showgrounds with Conor Winn rested so every option is being assessed ahead of next month's ties against either Limerick FC, Cork City, or Monaghan United.
With one solitary point registered since April, this is Galway's worst sequence of results. Unsurprisingly the players are struggling to deal with these circumstances. Assisting the squad's minds as much as their skills is what Brennan, Tommy Lally, and Billy Clery will be battling to do and the only way that process can be quickened is if Galway start to nick positive results.
Second from bottom Drogheda United is a side which Galway will feel they can compete against, especially if the concession of an opening quarter goal can be avoided. That has been a lingering problem for Galway, who have only recovered once to force a draw with Dundalk.
Unfortunately Galway did not possess the players to provide Sligo with a meaningful 90 minutes, but the Bit O'Red also demolished Dundalk, who are blessed with a dash of quality, on Tuesday. Sligo's second emphatic victory in a row demonstrated their eagerness to dethrone Shamrock Rovers as a fascinating race for silverware goes into the closing laps.
For a couple of months Galway have been completely aware that a play-off series beckoned, but still they have found it hard to put points on the board. Twenty-five reversals in 26 matches is beyond worrying, but all of Brennan's attainable targets, such as becoming more compact at the back, while also increasing their productivity at the other end, need to be realised before November.
With a month to brace themselves, Terryland Park regulars will be hoping to see evidence that Galway can develop, but there will be stresses and strains. In these deeply distressing times character is required and it must be shown when Drogheda come Corribside.
• Galway United is asking all supporters to wear their Galway United or Galway jerseys to Saturday’s home match against Drogheda United at Terryland Park (KO 7.45pm ).
As part of Goal Jersey Day, United will be holding a "Go Maroon for Goal" fundraising collection at the game.