Dunne to select strongest United team for FAI Cup clash

FAI Cup football makes a welcome return to Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow evening (7.45pm ) when Galway United host non league Wexford outfit, North End United, on the Dyke Road.

Having suffered a  disappointing SSE Airtricity League premier division loss to Drogheda United by 2-0 last Friday, Tommy Dunne's team will be looking to summon an instant response.

Three wins on the spin - two in the top flight and one in the EA Sports Cup - meant the Tribesmen hit the banks of the Boyne confident, but Galway were given a reality check by a determined Drogheda side.

Johnny McDonnell's side were primed for a battle and Galway just could not cope with Drogheda's energetic approach.

Galway's campaign has been littered with unfortunate injury problems and the lack of depth proved costly in county Louth. Dunne, though, is encouraged that several of his squad are returning to action, including Marc Ludden, who featured in Drogheda, Jason Molloy, Sam Oji, and Killian Cantwell, who still needs more time to recover.

The only two major injuries are Kevin Garcia and Andy O'Connell, and although Garcia should be back next week, O'Connell will be out for a number of months.

Following the Drogheda league reversal Dunne wants United to register a victory in the FAI Cup.

“Of course we will be looking to get back to winning ways. Coming into the Drogheda game we were confident, but we didn't play well. I don't think anybody could put their hand up to say they were playing to the top of their ability.

"What I will say is United Park gave us an idea of other aspects of the game that makes you able to play. We have to work on that. Again I don't want to be overly critical because we have a small number of players, who have worked hard due to the number of injuries we've had."

The well regarded Gary Dempsey will anchor North End's midfield, while Robin Dempsey and Paul Murphy also had stints cross channel with Aston Villa and Ipswich Town respectively so Dunne is expecting a tricky test.

"Gary Dempsey is an experienced player, who will do a job for them in midfield, and they are supposed to have a useful, young striker too. He is supposed to be sharp and quick.

“We are looking to put out the best and strongest team we have on any given day. There might be changes, but overall we will be putting out what we feel is our strongest team for this game.

“We played last Friday and we don't play again until this Friday. As regards everybody being fresh and right, I don't think there will be an issue there.

“For me the FAI Cup is the big Cup competition so we want to try to do as well as we possibly can.  Still we know that we will be up against it. We are facing a team that are coming towards the end of their season and they have been a strong team within their league. There is no doubt that North End will be a strong outfit from what I've been told. We have to make sure we are ready for the game."

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