Despite a disappointing start to the SSE Airtricity League season, Galway United manager Tommy Dunne expects his team to respond when Drogheda United visit Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow evening (7.45pm ).
Johnny McDonnell's Drogheda has already registered wins over Bray Wanderers and Sligo Rovers, but Dunne is not too disheartened following United's two losses against Derry City and Bohemians.
"They are all big games," Dunne says. "We just have to get up to the speed of it. They’ve started well; we haven’t started well. I’ve seen that before. I wouldn’t be judging us just right now, I would judge us at the end of the season."
Dunne says lapses in concentration have proven costly in the opening weeks of the campaign.
" There wasn’t a whole lot between us except at set pieces. The last two weeks we have conceded from three corners and a throw-in so they are all set pieces.
"One of the Derry goals was when we were breaking and we got done. Overall silly little things are costing us, so we have to make sure we get clued in and that we are defending set plays. Against Bohemians good deliveries into the box had to be defended, but we didn’t put any good deliveries into their box."
With midfielder David O'Leary missing through injury at Dalymount Park, United did encounter problems as Bohemians seized the initiative.
Though Alex Byrne and skipper Paul Sinnott grafted, the visitors were under duress when the Gypsies hit the front early on.
In Phibsboro last Friday Galway gifted Anto Murphy an early goal and Dunne wants his squad to become more streetwise.
"You start off away from home against a tough Dublin team, and when you concede a soft goal after five minutes, it’s hard. I felt the game was a scrappy enough match. The surface was difficult. There wasn’t a huge amount of chances. They didn’t get a huge amount, I thought we came into the game in the second half."
There are talented footballers in the Galway squad - Connor Gleeson remains a commanding goalkeeper of immense promise, Colm Horgan's ability at right back is well documented, Byrne's versatility marks him out as a particularly good performer, while Antaine O'Laoi and Padraic Cunningham also have the potential to make an impact at this level. Dunne wants his young group of players to start believing in themselves.
"I’d be worried if we were getting torn asunder. For me there hasn’t been a huge amount in the games. We had a great chance to get back in it late on against Bohs, but we didn’t take it.
“I have a lot of guys who did really well last year, but now they have to get up to the pace of the premier division and believe that they can play. I’m half looking at some of the players and I think there is a little bit of doubt in their minds. I’ve no doubt they are good enough but they have to believe it."