Control the controllables. In a relegation battle all any team can do is take care of its own chores. Whatever is occurring elsewhere cannot be influenced. On Friday evening Galway United gleaned a point from a lively contest with Drogheda United. Fifty two miles away at the Carlisle Grounds Finn Harps were notching a vital victory, meaning Galway were eight points from safety. Jeff Kenna wasn’t looking for a sympathy vote, though, insisting Galway can operate at this level. "All we can do is look after our own shop. Finn Harps would have been thinking, going to Bray, that is a game they can win and other teams looking at our result will think it is a great point for us. Obviously they are a further two points ahead, but all we can do is focus on our own game.
"I thought in the first half we gave as good as that, they had one good chance and plenty of possession, but they played plenty of nice football in their half, but when we got close to them they resorted to a long ball. Second half I will hold my hands up and they were the better team and you could see why they are champions.”
Kenna can correctly take credit for Galway’s recent renaissance. Four dynamic displays have been put together, providing a drop of hope in testing times. Kenna is content. "I am delighted with the way the performances have gone in the last four games. That is all I can look for. I just say to the players to go out and give their best and I cannot ask for any more than that. The question is can we continue it until the end of the season and if we win we will win more games than any of the teams around us.
"I was very proud of everybody in our dressing room tonight, they gave their all. In the first 45 minutes we played very well against the champions and I feel they have underachieved this season. We held on in the second half then.”
Talk inevitably switched to Galway’s future. Currently laced with uncertainty, Kenna confirmed that no significant decisions will be taken on what players will be retained until United’s backdrop for 2009 is confirmed. "It is for another day. We obviously will have to see whatever division we are in. If you get safe sooner rather than later that is a different prospect so we just have to get to the end of the season and see where we are.”
Flecked with Galway natives in the squad, Kenna was enthused by the fact that several locals crossed on to the United Park sward. Seamus Conneely, Alan Keane, Jonathan Keane, Ciaran Foley, and John Russell all contributed handsomely, offering another nugget of encouragement.
"It is great and I am delighted with that. The more the merrier for me. If they are good enough and local that is great. I know there are other lads playing for the A team doing well and the more competition for places the better it is for me and long may it continue.” Another selection dilemma awaits Kenna at Terryland Park next Friday when Cork City come to town. Again the clash will carry the must-win billing that appears to accompany every Galway match. How Galway deal with the duress will be revealing.