United’s first-choice players under pressure for Derry visit

As crucial games continue to arrive thick and fast, Galway United will be hoping to eke out some kind of result when Derry City visit Terryland Park tomorrow evening (7.45pm ).

Since returning to the top flight Stephen Kenny’s cocktail of youth and experience have impressed and the Candystripes will provide a stern test for Galway on the Dyke Road.

The disappointing draw with Drogheda United last Friday left Sean Connor frustrated. He is demanding a significant improvement in the coming weeks.

"Our first half performance in Drogheda was abysmal, it was the worst I have ever had as a manager. I think all we did in the second half was save a bit of face because that level of performance was totally unacceptable.

“We had seven corners in the first half, but we didn't go out and impose ourselves. We looked frightened, nervous, and edgy in our football. If we keep doing that, we are going to be in big, big trouble. We had the chance to get on to seven points and level with three teams who were above us, but we have blown that. These players have until July to get their fingers out or else I will be bringing in new players.”

Connor said Eduardo Duci was the only player to come out of the game with any credit.

“He made his debut, he came on, got tight and closed people down. We were decidedly average against Sligo aswell. I don't have the personnel to change things around now, but I will change it in July, don't worry about that.”

Connor has also promised to give youth its fling if Galway’s current first-choice players do not perform with the necessary consistency.

"I am going to have to take a risk with youngsters if these guys don't step up. I will have to go with young players. Eduardo has played himself into the team. One or two players should be looking over their shoulders. Shane Keogh is a fantastic young player, he should be nursed and encouraged, but how can you bring him into that? It is like bringing him into a team with no balls - how is that going to help Shane Keogh, it is crazy?

Though Galway have defended in a solid fashion during the past three matches Connor yearns for his players to be more clinical and ruthless at the opposite end of the park.

"The point in Drogheda is not acceptable because we had too many players who are superior to their players. The only positive is that we didn’t lost.

“The first half performance was unacceptable, it was embarrassing. The second half performance was more akin to what I expect. Then we didn't take our chances and that is getting a bit worrying. We didn't take our chances against UCD, we didn't create chances against Sligo.”

Derry will arrive in the west seeking to pass and retain the ball meaning Galway will need to find the right blend of passion and purpose to ensure a growing local audience can be given something to shout about.


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