Galway United host Bohemians in a vital SSE Airtricity League premier division encounter at Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow evening (7.45pm ).
Last Friday Vinny Faherty’s splendid late header ensured United claimed a fine come-from-behind 2-1 win over Finn Harps, but Monday’s 2-0 loss against Shamrock Rovers was disappointing.
It means United, now in 10th place in the table, need a positive result when the Gypsies visit the Dyke Road venue.
Manager Shane Keegan admits every ‘six-pointer’ tussle involving teams in the bottom six carries huge significance.
“Any game between two sides in the bottom six has to be referred to as a six pointer,” Keegan says. “The current league table is just insane. To think there is only three points between seventh and last at the moment is amazing.
“It makes all those games between the teams in the bottom six really important. There will be a lot of six pointers between now and the end of the season.”
On St Patrick’s Day a spirited United display earned a draw from the game at Dalymount Park with Bohemians, who remain in seventh place, but just two points ahead.
“They are a good side, we had a good battle with them earlier in the season,” Keegan states. “We probably fancied ourselves to get the win until Alex Byrne got sent off, which swung the momentum back in their favour.
“They are a good, good side, but it is a game at home, and we would have to be confident about going to produce. It looks like we should have most of the bodies we were missing against Rovers back. That would give the squad a boost as well, so it would. It would be an ideal game for us to get back to producing our best.”
Despite the Hoops defeat, Keegan is satisfied with how his young squad is developing.
“I think the Rovers game was our first poor performance since Cork away. I know we weren't great on Friday night, but we did enough to get the win. Obviously we were beaten up in Bray, but I thought we were decent that night and unlucky not to get a point.
“We are 15 games into the season and realistically I think we've had only two poor performances, Rovers and Cork away. So for us to have been at least decent, if not better in the vast majority of games, is relatively pleasing.
“There have been an awful lot of positives, everybody probably thinks they are capable of kicking on, but I do think we are a side that can go on a three-game winning streak that could get us up to seventh. We do have the ability. They are a fantastic group of lads to work with. That is what would give me complete confidence that we can do well over the second half of the season.”
Now Keegan wants his United players to deliver when Bohemians visit the west. “The key thing was as soon as we got back in the dressing room in Tallaght, the key phrase was that it is all about the response.
“That is the case, it is all about how we respond. It is probably the first time that we have looked a little bit leggy, that is no surprise. It was our third Monday night game this month, in addition to playing every Friday night, but after Tuesday recovery work, and Wednesday off, they'll be flying again on the fitness side of things.”