Three points the focus for United

Galway United return to action tomorrow night when they take on Cobh Ramblers in the SSE Airtricity League first division at St Colman’s Park.

Unitedtravel south with a singular focus on returning to winning ways. In this task, manager John Caulfield feels his squad has been helped by a week’s break. Having used this time to reflect and rehabilitate, the Tribesmen are eager to reinvigorate their promotion push, and Caulfield is upbeat.

“We were very happy with the week off. It gave us a chance to work on a good few things and get the heads refocused. We played a friendly against Mervue [United], and it gave a lot of the lads some game time.

"Mikie Rowe, Ronan Manning and Conor O’Keefe are all back and have an extra couple of weeks training under their belt. They’re all serious players and when the games came thick and fast over the last month, maybe it affected us a bit.”

However, United will not yet be at full strength in Cobh. The towering Killian Brouder continues his recovery from a knee injury, while Stephen Walsh serves a suspension. Despite these absences, the gaffer is bullish about the quality of his side and their potential.

“We had a tough August, but we’ve had a good season, we were very dominant. It is important for us to get back to form and get back playing the way we can.”

Caulfield accepts the task of achieving these performance levels and matching them with the desired results will be a tricky one in St Colman’s Park, and he is full of admiration for the work of a former United manager, Shane Keegan, since he took over in Cobh.

“It was a surprise to see Darren Murphy go, but then they [Cobh] went for Shane who is a very experienced manager, and you can see straight away that he has shored things up.

"They got a couple of wins, lost narrowly to Cork in the cup, and he [Keegan] probably feels they should have beaten Cork in the cup. Any time you go to Cobh you know it’s going to be a very tough game because it is a tight pitch, and you have to be prepared for the battle.”

Despite these observations, some optimistic supporters may view this fixture favourably at the outset. They may take some solace from Cork dropping points to Longford Town during the week. There may even be furtive Galway glances towards events in the RSC tomorrow evening where Waterford FC entertain Cork City. However, Caulfield is insistent his group cannot and will not indulge these speculations.

“In all types of sports, if you take your eye off the ball and you look at what other people are doing, your own form suffers. For us, we can only control our performance against Cobh where we have to be at our best to get the points. We need to get back our form and get prepared because the play-offs are there, we are in them, and we have to get ready for them.”

Galway United Friends Co-Op is running a bus to Friday's first division match at St Colman's Park, leaving The Connacht Hotel, Dublin Road, Galway at 3.30pm. To book a seat, contact Stephen Connolly (085 ) 2206645.


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