O’Keeffe enjoying life in the west

Conor O'Keeffe is a key player for United

“There is a great togetherness,” Conor O’Keeffe says about the current Galway United squad.

At the end of an eventful draw against Waterford FC in the SSE Airtricity League, O’Keeffe was adamant about the potential of John Caulfield’s team.

“It is a very united group,” O’Keeffe adds. “You can see that on the pitch. Everyone is working to help each other out on the pitch, to cover each other. There is good link up play already forming between the two front players and the players coming off the bench having an influence on the game.

“You can look at it - a very positive group, the attitude of everyone is spot on, everyone wants to win, and to push to get the club up to the top of the table, to have a successful season. That is our aim, but you have got to go one game at a time. We have to start the game better than we did, and have a 90 minute performance like we did in Cork.”

That is precisely why O’Keeffe wants United to keep demonstrating drive and desire. Attaining top flight status is the ultimate aim.

“We have to set the standards high,” O’Keeffe says. “We want to get promoted, that is our goal, so we have to keep making sure the standards are as high as possible. Not to settle for anything. We have to keep pushing forward, keep aiming higher up the table.

“We had the bye week the first week so it is important that we keep getting points every week, not just settle or be happy. We have to keep pushing for more and better, to expect other teams will win games so we have got to make sure we are on top of our performances. We can only control what we can control, so we need to make sure we get three points every week.”

A worrying start put United under severe duress against Waterford, but O’Keeffe was encouraged about the response.

Manu Dimas and Jordan Adeyemo combined to launch the comeback with the former Drogheda United attacker narrowing the gap. Then Stephen Walsh announced his arrival into the match with a goal.

“Obviously we were very disappointed with the manner of the goals that we let in, second phase from two set pieces,” O’Keeffe reflects.

“That was very disappointing, we shot ourselves in the foot. We came in at half-time, we regrouped, you could see that the attitude from the lads in the second half was brilliant. The first goal we got, the link up play from Jordan and Manu up front was brilliant. Obviously that gave us momentum for the rest of the second half.

“We just kept knocking on the door, Walshy came on, he got a great finish. Arguably their keeper pulled off two great saves from Mikie Rowe and Dave Hurley. We possibly could have won it, but a very entertaining game for the neutral. We are just disappointed that we didn't get the win.”

Defiance had to be shown. “We kept going and kept going,” O’Keeffe adds. “That is the positive we can take out of it, we kept asking questions of them. When Walshy came on, he had a really good influence on the game. He got that all important equaliser, we are just disappointed we didn't get a winner.”

Now in his second season with the club, O’Keeffe is relishing his time in the west of Ireland.

“I really like it here, especially playing in front of the fans here, there is a great atmosphere,” O’Keeffe replies.

“It is a great ground. Galway as a club, we are looking to get to where it was in terms of premier division football.

“I'm enjoying that challenge, just taking it week by week, enjoying the whole environment we have here. We are trying to win the league this year. That is our goal. Come back to ask me at the end of the season, if we have won the league or gained promotion, I will be delighted.”

**Listen to the full interview with Galway United defender Conor O’Keeffe on this week’s ‘Cian on Sport’ podcast available on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.

 

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