A clash with the champs ends United’s miserable league campaign

Galway United's Sean Kelly and Kieran Waters of Bray Wanderers in action from Galway United last home game in the Airtricity Premier League at Terryland Park on Friday night. 
					Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Galway United's Sean Kelly and Kieran Waters of Bray Wanderers in action from Galway United last home game in the Airtricity Premier League at Terryland Park on Friday night. Photo:-Mike Shaughnessy

Tomorrow night's trip to Tallaght for a clash with champions Shamrock Rovers will bring Galway United's regulation league campaign to an end. However it is next week's promotion/relegation play-off that is uppermost in manager John Brennan's thoughts.

Tuesday's dramatic last-gasp success over UCD ensured the Hoops cannot be caught at the summit of the table, but Galway, with only one point since April, will be hoping for a positive performance ahead of next week's defining two-legged tie with Monaghan United, Limerick FC, or Cork City.

Manager John Brennan acknowledges a difficult evening awaits in the capital. "When you are getting beaten every week it is very hard because once one goal goes in you can see the heads drop. We are now playing the league champions Shamrock Rovers, and that is going to be very hard. Hopefully we won't bring a big beating into the play-offs. I will have to change the team around again and I might have to bring in one or two other defenders, young Rory Gartlan might get a game against Rovers.

"We have to get it into the minds of the lads that we are still playing for the play-offs. We are against the league champions and picking up a point would be really enjoyable."

Last Friday Galway suffered a humiliating Terryland Park loss to Bray Wanderers and Brennan admitted that performance and concentration levels need to improve significantly.

" We were all right for maybe 30 or 40 minutes, but then we had a mad spell where we let in four goals in just over five minutes. It is crazy because we were training during the week on how to defend, but lads just aren't copping on how to do it. We will just have to go back on to the training pitch and see can we improve.

"The mistakes basically mean some of the players aren't really up to the standard because they are not taking what we are saying on board in training. They are not learning; so if they are not learning, they won't be able to show what we want them to do out on the pitch.”

Brennan says he is both frustrated and upset.

"It is frustrating when some of the players don't take what you want them to do into their heads. I am enjoying management in certain ways, but when people don't do it on the pitch, it really upsets me.

"Last Tuesday week I had 12 players available ahead of the match on Friday, we got one or two back from injury, but I was afraid to play them. I was thinking of the play-offs, but we had three or four under 19s on the bench, it is not easy and we are down to the bare bones."

Brennan, though, still believes that anything can happen in the two-legged promotion/relegation play-off as Galway strive to complete a miserable campaign with a rare victory.

"It is not all negative, we need to get over this series. We have two cup finals to play in the play-offs, and we will have the lads tuned into that, hopefully we will get a result."

Play-off tickets

• Tickets for the home leg of the premier division play-off on Friday, November 4 are now on sale from the Galway United office at Terryland Park, and from O'Briens Newsagents, William Street, Galway. Adult tickets purchased in advance cost €10, with concessions also €10. Secondary school tickets are on sale at €5, and a family rate of €20 is available. Match tickets will also be on sale at both the Eyre Square Centre and the Galway Shopping Centre this Saturday, October 29. GUST will be running a bus to the away leg next Tuesday, November 1, departing from the Pillo Hotel. Seats can be booked by ringing Ronan Coleman 087-6972823.

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