BOHEMIANS defender Ken Oman believes that his side have to follow up on Saturday's Dublin derby draw with Shamrock Rovers with nothing less than two wins from their next two games.
The Dublin rivals played out a scoreless draw at Dalymount Park on Saturday, Bohs almost losing the points when a Dessie Baker shot 10 minutes from time came off the crossbar.
It was a fair contest, but sporting rivalry spilled over after the final whistle, when most of the players and some of the clubs' staff became embroiled in a melee. And even when that was cleared there was another bit of afters as more words were exchanged on the pitch as the two sets of players did their warm-down.
Bohs boss Pat Fenlon, however, played it down, saying "you'd see worse fights in a chipper in Finglas".
With the league's top two, Dundalk and St Pats, both losing later the same day, the Dalymount draw was a case of missed opportunities for Bohs and Rovers. The Hoops lost out on the chance to go top of the table, while the weekend's results meant that Bohs dropped out of the top five, UCD now a point ahead of the Gypsies, though Bohs do have two games in hand.
Bohs have two league games before the mid-season break, away to bottom side Bray Wanderers (tomorrow) and another away date, with Galway United (Tuesday week). Wins from those two games could see Bohs get out of the bottom half, move up the table and back into the top two or three. Defender Oman, a key man for Bohs on Saturday, says that nothing less will do for the reigning champions.
"If we can get two wins from the two matches before the break it would shoot us right up the table," said Oman.
"The Rovers game is gone. Now we move on to Bray tomorrow and that's a must-win game for us now. We really need to win the next two league matches to make sure we're in a decent position in the league for the summer break.
"That's no disrespect to Bray or Galway, but we need six points from the two matches. If we're serious about winning the league this season we need to win the next two matches. In fact, we should be looking to win every game between now and the end of the season because we have lost four already, and that's not like us," added Oman.
Rovers continue to hold the edge over Bohs as it's 14 months since Pat Fenlon's side last beat Rovers, but Oman feels that a point apiece was a fair outcome from Saturday.
"A draw isn't a terrible result for us and the good thing was that we kept a clean sheet," he said. "We let in four goals in the previous two games in the league so we needed to keep things tight at the back and we did that on Saturday. If you keep a clean sheet you have a chance, now we are looking tight at the back again we can look to start winning more games.
"We didn't lose to them and that was the main thing, we couldn't afford another defeat at this stage of the season so we can be positive now and move on to the next three games.
"We had the better chances in the first half -- in the second half maybe they had the better chances. It was what you expect from Bohs-Rovers, there was a bit of fire in it too, but a draw was a fair result in the end for both teams. We had a good bit of possession but they had some clear-cut chances. We both had chances to score but neither team put them away.
"Dessie Baker had a great chance for them late on and I was lucky to get a deflection on it and get it away. I got two blocks on it. That was a good sign for us. I don't think we have been getting much luck our way this season but we got that bit of luck on Saturday when Dessie's chance didn't go in," added Oman.
The former Derry City player was back in the Bohs side for the first time in five games due to injury. Bohs skipper Owen Heary missed out, and Gypsies boss Fenlon heaped praise on Finglas man Oman.
"Ken was very good, he hasn't played in a while and we were a bit worried about him," said Fenlon. "We threw Stephen Gray in against Pats last week and maybe I shouldn't have done that, it wasn't fair to him, but Ken was very good. He won a lot of balls in the air and dominated his area of the pitch, but the whole back four were very good."
For Rovers, it was a second successive draw and boss Michael O'Neill felt his side had enough about them to claim all three points.
"We deserved more out of the game. We started well, we dominated the first 25-30 minutes. To be fair to Bohs they came back into it, the second half was even enough but we had the best chances and we should have had a penalty, if not one even two. I felt the referee wasn't strong enough to give them," O'Neill said.