Galway United's depth will be tested this weekend

Galway United will face an early test of their strength in depth with two games in quick succession.

Shane Keegan's side hosts Cabinteely in the SSE Airtricity League first division at Eamonn Deacy Park tomorrow evening (7.45pm ), and then return to the Corribside venue to host Donegal outfit Cockhill Celtic in EA Sports Cup action on Monday (5pm ).

Keegan feels there is sufficient depth in the United squad.

“Hopefully this weekend is going to prove that," he says. "We made three substitutions against Athlone, all three made an impact, particularly Conor Barry and Carlton. We made three again in UCD, they all did well, plus a couple of changes from game to game.

“We have a couple of fellas who haven't featured at all yet, particularly from an attacking perspective such as Conor Layng, who looks absolutely superb in training at times.

"Add them into the mix, and I think we have a good bit of strength which is important to keep players fresh and try to keep options on all fronts. We probably will see 17 or 18 different players start either on the Friday or the Monday, which will be a real test of the strength in depth, but I think it is there.”

Last Friday Danny Furlong struck his fourth goal in two games for United, who eventually divided the spoils with UCD in Belfield. With Robbie Williams injured, youngster Maurice Nugent formed an adequate central defensive partnership alongside Stephen Walsh.

Nugent outstanding

“I suppose playing a team as good as UCD and with a player like Georgie Kelly up front I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried going into the game without him. I thought the two boys were excellent, it was Maurice's first start in the league.

“I thought he was outstanding, arguably our best player and Walshy beside him was absolutely solid out. It was brilliant.

Keegan says it shows United have a few options in the area.

"Hopefully we are not overly reliant on Rob [Williams] if he does miss a game here or there. It was an injury that stopped him playing, it wasn't a close call whether he could play or not, but it will be a closer call this Friday, he is 50-50. The great thing with the two lads playing so well is that we can get through games if we have to."

Cabinteely have suffered two defeats so far, but Keegan is treating the Dublin club with respect.

“It's tricky heading into a game where the opposition has lost twice. That means they will be extremely motivated to put things right. Not alone that, but if you read any match reports about both games, the opposition managers have both said they got the rub of the green and that Cabinteely were unlucky. Nobody should think they are a basement team, they are not.

“They should have got a draw, at least, in both games so far. They had a fantastic year last year and have predominantly the same squad, obviously holding on to Kieran Marty Waters. He is one of the top five players in the league and he will make them a massive threat.

To guard against complacency, Keegans says he will be 'hammering home that message all week that this isn't a bad team".

"They have just been a bit unfortunate with how the scorelines have gone in the opening two games. They will be a huge threat to us.”


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