​'Galway United won’t go away anytime soon,' warns Paul Hegarty

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​PAUL Hegarty doesn't expect Galway United's rapid rise under John Caulfied to take a downward turn anytime soon, claiming the Tribesmen are fully deserving of their high ranking position.

​The First Division champions have already stunned Derry at Brandywell with Stephen Walsh's second half strike clinching victory back in March. They've also taken the scalp of league leaders Shelbourne and drawn with four-in-a-row champions Shamrock Rovers at Tallaght.

It's the club's first time back in the top flight since 2017 but they certainly don't look out of place. In fact Derry assistant boss Paul Hegarty rates the Galwegians among the best teams in the league so far!

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"I watched Galway's game against Pats on Friday night and Galway should've won that game really comfortably," said the Ballindrait man. "They didn't get any luck in that game."

Caulfield's side are in fifth spot, four points behind third placed Rovers with two games in hand over the Dubliners! And Hegarty reckons they're there on merit.

"They are where they are because they've been very, very good. They have a good structure to them, they score goals and keep clean sheets.

"They won't be going away anytime soon and probably, for me, I think they've been the best team probably apart from Shelbourne consistently with performances, maybe not result but I think they've been one of the best teams in the league."

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Hegarty knows Derry must back up their big home win over Waterford last Monday with another three points against Galway, no matter how difficult a task that will be.

Paul Hegarty, Derry City’s assistant manager watches on as Derry lose at home to Galway. Photograph: George SweeneyPaul Hegarty, Derry City’s assistant manager watches on as Derry lose at home to Galway. Photograph: George Sweeney
Paul Hegarty, Derry City’s assistant manager watches on as Derry lose at home to Galway. Photograph: George Sweeney

Derry closed to within two points of Shelbourne with that result although Damien Duff's men, who play Dundalk at Tolka Park on Friday night, have a game in hand.

"You'd rather have the points on the board," said Hegarty. "We need to come here on Friday night and do our business again. The players were really professional in how they turned out and fully deserved what they got against Waterford.

"We just take it one game at a time. We have Galway on Friday night and Galway have taken four points from us. We know what they're about. They're a very good side.

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"All teams from the middle of the table up would be thinking if they put a run together they could still challenge for the league come the second half of the season and rightly so.

Derry City winger Michael Duffy can't find a way through a resolute Galway defence at Brandywell last March.Derry City winger Michael Duffy can't find a way through a resolute Galway defence at Brandywell last March.
Derry City winger Michael Duffy can't find a way through a resolute Galway defence at Brandywell last March.

"There's nobody who's been outstanding to date and ourselves, we haven’t really hit the heights we need to be hitting. We need to look after ourselves but all other teams will be looking at it the same way as us.”

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