Tommy Dunne wants Galway United to be "more ruthless and clinical" in Saturday’s SSE Airtricity League premier division clash against Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds (7.45pm ).
Last Friday United suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat against Bray Wanderers and Dunne hopes his young squad can "bounce back" following that loss.
Bray ruthlessly punished two defensive errors to secure the spoils at Eamonn Deacy Park.
“Looking back at the game it was disappointing,” Dunne says. “To be honest I felt we were pretty comfortable in the game and that we appeared to have sorted things out. We seemed to be solid, but then just before half time we gave away a very soft goal. Obviously that changed the dynamic of the game and it forced us to go chasing.
"I feel Bray strengthened in the window getting in players like Tim Clancy and John Sullivan. That improved them and I feel it was a case of us having lots of possession without really making it count properly.
“They didn’t create a whole lot either in the game. We just gifted them two goals and you cannot expect to get away with that.”
Sligo Rovers are next on the agenda with Dunne acknowledging a demanding encounter awaits in the northwest.
“You’ve got to scrap for every single point, especially at this stage of the season. We need to get our mindset right," he says.
“We need to cut out the mistakes we’ve made in recent weeks and we need to be a bit more clinical in the final third. We need to start creating more and taking our chances.
“Over the course of the season it can be tough to keep going. We have a lot of young players in our group and they haven’t played at this level where we are right now.
“Every year is a learning curve, but we also have to accept that there is only so much time that you can learn. We need to be more consistent.”
Dunne emphasises the importance of being "ruthless" for the remainder of the campaign. “Words that I am using are ruthless and guile. That is what we are talking a bit about now. We need to be ruthless in our defending by making sure we don’t give away any presents.
“At the opposite end when opportunities arise we need to be ruthless converting them. We also have to show more guile, especially in tight matches.
“That bit of cuteness you need, we must show it more often because when we are right, I feel that we are a match for any team in the country.”
The Bit O’Red exited the FAI Cup last Friday against Wexford Youths, but Dunne believes this upcoming clash in Sligo is crucial.
“It is a big game, it is a derby game, there is some history there. We just need to make sure we get our performance right.
“Even though they lost last week in the cup, Sligo are generally in a good vein of form and they have a very good squad. We know that when we produce that, we can take anyone on, but we must be right and ready from the start.”
•Galway United Supporters Trust is running a bus to Saturday's match at The Showgrounds, leaving The Dail Bar, Middle Street at 4pm, and picking up along the route. To book seats contact Dominick Walsh (087 ) 9163438 or Ronan Coleman (087 ) 6972823.