BOHEMIANS midfielder Ruaidhri Higgins believes that his side are genuine title contenders again after Monday's much-needed win at home to Drogheda United, which seemed to draw inspiration from an '80s rock song made popular by current hit American TV show Glee.
Pat Fenlon's side, champions for the past two seasons, had slipped out of the top four after a disastrous run of form that saw the Gypsies earn one win in seven games. And on Monday night, at home to strugglers Drogheda, it seemed as if Bohs would concede more points, before Higgins popped up with a late headed goal. That pushed Bohs back into fourth place -- though that was before Sporting Fingal played Bray Wanderers last night -- and Higgins feels that his side can now go on a run, starting away to Sligo Rovers next weekend.
"We're still in the mix. It's a very open league and it's still early days in the season. We're not even at the halfway stage in the second series of games," said Higgins, who was making only his third start of the league campaign.
"People were talking about panic stations around the club, but within the squad and the coaching staff there was no panic at all. We know we have the quality within the squad to win matches and, hopefully, win the league as well, that's the aim.
"We're not making it easy on ourselves but teams are making it very hard for us, everyone else seems to raise their game against Bohemians as we're the champions. We had a hard night against UCD on Friday and again, against Drogheda, it seemed like we wouldn't get the win.
"Someone mentioned the song (by Journey) 'Don't Stop Believing', used in the TV show Glee, after the Drogheda game and that's probably an appropriate line for us at the minute. It's been very difficult for us in the last few weeks. Teams come to Dalymount Park and seem to park the bus in front of goal and play 4-5-1 -- it took us until the 90th minute to get the winning goal the other night but we didn't stop believing and we got our rewards," continued Higgins.
"It was nice to get the applause from the fans at the end of the game -- pure relief as I don't know if they'd have clapped us off the pitch if we'd had another draw, after the draw at home to UCD the previous Friday.
"On a personal level,I'm delighted to get off the mark and score my first goal. I don't score too many headers. I missed a good chance with my head when we lost to Galway and I got a bit of stick over that, but I scored a few with my head in training in the week before the game so maybe that was an omen. And I have to credit Raff Cretaro for the cross," added Higgins.
Meanwhile, Bohs boss Fenlon feels that his side will start to hit form now that he has a settled team.
"We've had some half-decent performance. We haven't hit form yet and there is no point in me saying that we have, but I think we're slowly getting there," he said.