John Caulfield: 'We were doing exceptionally - when we came back again I thought we were going to win the match'

by Paul Corcoran

Paul Corcoran reports from Eamonn Deacy Park

John Caulfield had a tough test for his first game in charge of Galway United on Friday night as the Tribesmen welcomed Premier Division Shelbourne to Eamonn Deacy Park in the FAI Cup.

United succumbed to a 5-2 defeat in the end but the home side showed signs of life having come from behind twice in the game.

Galway’s new manager was pleased overall but he recognised the missed opportunities that could have seen his side upset the Premier Division club.

“If I’m being honest I thought that the first half started nervy, but some of the play I though was OK,” he told reporters after the game.

“At 0-0 Donal Higgins had a shot blocked where he possibly could have scored and you get a penalty-kick against Shelbourne in a cup game, so we had the chance to go one up and we didn’t take the opportunity.

The Tribesmen came out for the second half with purpose after Caulfield’s team talk at the break.

“I said at half time we hadn’t done enough of the work we had done in training during the week.

“In the second half I thought we came out and straightaway we got on the ball, we were passing it we were switching the play, and using our pace, and I thought we were very good.

“Enda got us back in the match and I thought we were doing exceptionally well but we gave away another goal and came back again and I thought at that stage we were going to win the match.

“I though Shelbourne were rattled, I thought we were playing with intensity and pace and causing them problems on the wings.”

Despite Shelbourne seeming rattled to the former Cork City boss, they managed to score three unanswered goals to kill the game, something Caulfield admitted he needs to address immediately.

“At the end of the day we conceded five goals. We gave them four goals on a plate. You concede four soft goals you’re not going to win any match and that’s the most disappointing thing,” he said.

“We have a lot of work to do and I think in crucial areas we gave away the ball softly and it lead to the soft goals so fair play to Shelbourne.

“If you told me before the match we would have scored two goals against Shelbourne I would have been saying you should have been in the bookies.”

Galway United are still without a win in the First Division this season and they have trip to Athlone to contend with next weekend. The manager recognises the importance of the game.

“The club haven’t won a game all season so tonight was a hit and I thought we could have won the match but we didn’t.

“I don’t make excuses and next Friday night there are no excuses, we have to go and win a match.

“That’s what all of our focus will be on during the week, Athlone are a tough team and it’s a bit of a local derby.

“Adrian Carberry has done a lot of work with them and with us going there they’re going to be up for the game and seeing if they can turn us over.”