Encouraged by a fine win over champions, Dundalk, Galway United will hope to deliver a similarly effective display against St Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park tomorrow (7.45pm ).
Vinny Faherty headed the only goal of a lively SSE Airtricity League game against Dundalk, who were frustrated by a defiant display from the Tribesmen, and the Moycullen native wants United to build on the Dundalk victory in the coming weeks and months.
"It was great, but not trying to bring it down or anything - we just need to back that up now,” Faherty says. “We dropped points against Longford, but it was a great win against Dundalk. Now we need to move on to Pat's next week to get another three points to try to move on up the table.
“It was disappointing in Longford. To be honest I take a lot of ownership for that. I had a great chance in the last two or three minutes, but I fluffed my lines. I totally misjudged it, so I take ownership for probably dropping us two points.
“Maybe we made up for it a little against Dundalk because it was a great team performance. Everyone put in a big shift so it was brilliant.”
Faherty, who made a welcome return to the Galway shirt in March following a stint with Limerick FC, is adamant the western club is making significant progress.
“I feel it is a sign that we have developed,” Faherty reflected about United’s best result since returning to the top flight 17 months ago.
“Having been with the club in 2007, 2008, and 2009, I do feel things have moved in the right direction. If the league was to finish now, we would be in fifth. That would be our highest position in years, so the club is definitely moving in the right direction.
"It is up to us as a squad to keep that up, to keep building. We have a great stadium, we have a good fan base, it is a great town. There is no reason why Galway United shouldn't be one of the top clubs in the country. It is up to us to push the club up there.”
United’s seasonal ambition is to claim a top four finish now, according to the widely respected Faherty, who has netted 11 league goals in 2016.
“It isn't really about what the club has done in the past, but getting to the top four is where we want to be. That is the game changer with the league, that is where our target needs to be. That is what Dundalk did. In their first year under this regime they came second and they were able to build on that. We need to get into the top four, if not this year then next year, but we are hell bent on getting it this year.”
With 13 matches remaining manager Dunne knows this is a vital fixture at the Inchicore venue against the Saints.
“I’ve never questioned the lads’ character," Dunne says. "At different times over the period that we’ve been working together, you might maybe question one or two things, in terms of experience and know-how, but overall the group has worked their socks off.
“We’re building a club. We’re trying to get everything in place, so that eventually we might be able to compete with these clubs."
•Galway United Supporters Trust is running a bus to Friday's SSE Airtricity League match versus at Richmond Park, leaving from The Dail Bar, Middle Street, at 4pm. Seats can be booked by contacting Dominick Walsh 087-9163438 or Ronan Coleman at 087-6972823.