GALWAY United’s preparations for tonight’s crunch relegation clash with Limerick FC in The Market’s Field (7.45pm) couldn’t have gone any better, according to Shane Keegan, who is feeling confident after what he heard in training yesterday morning.
The United manager says the final on-field session before the trip to Limerick was full of hard work, but was also dotted with jokes, ribbing, and laughter, which suggests his players are relaxed rather than tense ahead of tonight’s game.
“I really think the lads are up for this, training went really well, and there was plenty of slagging going on, so they are in a relaxed mood, and that’s what you want before a game,” Keegan told City Sport yesterday.
United go into the game still in the relegation zone, after dropping points against both Bray Wanderers and St Patrick’s Athletic in their last two games. However, they are just one point behind both Sligo Rovers and St Patrick’s Athletic – and with a better goal difference – so Keegan says it is important to at least have something to play for against Dundalk next Friday in Eamonn Deacy Park in the final game of the season.
Tuesday’s draw between Cork City and Derry City did United no favours: Cork City, who are away to St Patrick’s Athletic tonight, wrapped up the league title with the point; while Derry City ensured European qualification ahead of their trip to the Showgrounds to take on Sligo Rovers tomorrow night.
That has led to concerns amongst United fans that neither side could be as motivated as normal this weekend, but Keegan is giving such thoughts short shrift.
“John Caulfield said two things after the game on Tuesday that were interesting. The first was that in his first season in charge, he needed a team to take something off Dundalk when they were both challenging for the title, but the opposition rested players and that is something that stuck with him, the unfairness of that.
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.