Caulfield praises United's attitude

Longford Town host Galway United on Friday evening

At the end of a gruelling game Galway United manager John Caulfield walked towards the travelling support in Lissywollen, with a clenched fist to signal his appreciation to the travelling support.

It was another evening when United had to be resilient late on to overcome a spirited and much improved Athlone Town. Substitute Manu Dimas and Wilson Waweru scored the vital goals with the connection among players, management, and supporters carrying relevance.

Ultimately it is precisely why Caulfield hopes that a significant number of United followers will head for Bishopsgate tomorrow. A tough test awaits against Longford Town. “Again after the match in Athlone the players talked about it, the very strong crowd we had,” Caulfield says.

“People were saying we had more than 300 to travel, wouldn't it be fantastic if they went to Longford. I know it is a little bit further down the road - only a half an hour further - but it would be great if we got all that travelling support and more to keep behind this team.

“It certainly makes a huge difference and it is always remarked on by the players. Again it was a great atmosphere. Long may that continue for us.”

That United left the midlands following a real battle against Athlone armed with the full complement of spoils pleased Caufield.

“As we know in this league every week you have to be on your game,” he says. “You often see it takes some teams a bit of time to get going, certainly Athlone will prove to be a good side throughout the season. They have had a slow start so we were very happy.

“Our attitude was really good, the game was quite open with a lot of football being played. We had a couple of chances and they had a couple of chances in the first half. At half-time we changed a few things around, Manu Dimas scored with a fantastic header, and obviously Wilson Waweru got a brilliant goal too.

“We got two quality goals. Athlone in the last 10 minutes really came at us, scored, and once again we had to defend very well. It was a good victory, it was a tough week with three games in seven days, we came out with three wins so we have to happy with that.”

Caulfield acknowledged Gary Boylan and Dimas’ contribution following a reshuffle at the interval. “I think, as we have been saying all along, you need to have a strong squad, people who come in, keep the performances high, and make an impact,” Caulfield says.

“Thankfully since the start of the season any time we have made changes we have had massive impact off the bench. You need that, it is good that the lads are in good condition, their fitness levels are good. We are trying to keep them injury free, a lot of work is being done on the training ground to keep them as fresh as can be. It is early days, but certainly a good start.”

During the Athlone contest talented teenager Alex Murphy suffered a knee injury, but the former Corrib Celtic youngster will still be involved with the Republic of Ireland U19s this week. “Alex is called up to the Irish U19 squad so he will go for the three European qualifiers matches with them,” Caulfield says.

“He got a knock, but thankfully it wasn't too serious - some heavy bruising, but by Monday morning it had come well down. He is off with the Irish team for the matches, he will be unavailable for Friday night's game against Longford. At the same time lots of lads are looking for the opportunity to play.”

An action packed spell continues for United in the midlands with a demanding assignment away to Gary Cronin’s Longford.

“Gary has been around the first division for a long time, he was well known for his style - you can see this year that he has changed quite a bit,” Caulfield says. Longford have been much more direct, a very tall team.

“We have seen from the way they have played that they have gone much more direct, getting the ball forward much quicker, not playing as much as Gary would have been renowned for with Bray.

“We know the challenge that is ahead of us, again it is going to be an incredibly tough game for us. When you go to Longford, to their ground, you have to be at it. If you are not you won't get the points. The attitude in our group is very good.”

**Listen to the full interview with Galway United manager John Caulfield on this week's 'Cian on Sport' podcast available on Soundcloud, Spotify, and Apple Podcasts.


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