Galway United face a demanding SSE Airtricity League Premier Division trip to Tallaght Stadium tomorrow for a clash with Shamrock Rovers.
Tommy Dunne's United suffered an unfortunate defeat against Longford Town at Eamonn Deacy Park last Friday. Leading courtesy of an opportunistic Jake Keegan goal, Galway suffered following the first half dismissal of Stephen Walsh.
Gary Shaw and Don Cowan, in stoppage time, rattled the United net as Longford departed from the west armed with the full compliment of spoils. Sam Oji was also red carded following Cowan's strike completing a miserable finish for Galway.
"I was happy up until about 25 or 30 minutes," was Dunne's verdict. "We were well in the game, we were creating chances, we were being competitive, we were working them as much as they were working us.
"Then we take a wrong option. It was the wrong option in a number of areas. The ball should have went longer for me at some stage within that sequence because it was a difficult night. I’d have been happy for us to play a little more forward at that time.
“It broke down, from what I’ve seen the lad comes across Stephen, who did his best to get back in, but the next thing the lad is down. Stephen is sent off and then it is a mountain to climb. You’re down to 10 men for the second Friday in a row and you’re having to play in a certain way that I don’t want to play and that people don’t want us to see us play. They want us to see us match teams and compete giving everything you have in attacking and defending wise."
Galway's inability to deal with routine set piece situations remains a worry for Dunne. "We conceded another goal from a second phase set-piece. The winner from them is a set-piece. We changed our formation regarding defending set pieces so I was disgusted with that. Losing the game at the death was avoidable.
“For me it became loose and ill disciplined. It has to stop and it will stop. There will be consequences. Overall as a group we are too naive and ill disciplined to be getting results at this level. It needs to change quickly."
Dunne hopes his players discipline and concentration levels will improve.
"It is nothing to do with being able to compete with them at a performing level. It is the naivety and ill discipline and the lack of professionalism in certain aspects of the game is what is costing us. Every match as we keep saying there is not a lot in it, but obviously there is because we keep getting beaten. It is down to simple, basic things - and to be honest something needs to happen.
"We are hitting the self destruct button at different times. We are creating more chances. I don’t want to be overly critical, but at the moment a basic observation for me is that we are ill disciplined in a number of aspects of our game."
Considering how bright Galway were early on Dunne admitted it was 'a disappointment' not to take anything from the contest. "The atmosphere was good, the game was competitive it looked as if it would be a really good match. We have to defend properly. I thought we were attacking quite well, but you only have a proper game if you’re team do it from start to finish.
"You cannot fault the work rate and effort. We are giving everything. You’re having to play a different way - a way you don’t want to be playing. You keep yourself right until you might have a go at the death. Padraic Cunningham was unlucky not to score late on. Overall it was disappointing with the result and some aspects in our play."
The tussle with Pat Fenlon's Rovers brings another daunting challenge which Galway must embrace.