BOHEMIANS bounced back from the disappointing opening-day defeat to Shamrock Rovers with back-to-back 2-0 wins over Waterford and Sligo Rovers.
Ireland Under-21 international Danny Mandroiu was on target in both games, while Canadian international Kris Twardek also got off the mark in Monday night’s victory over the Bit o’ Red.
Manager Keith Long admitted the staff and players are determined not to rest on their laurels following last season’s third-placed finish and a return to Europe for the first time in seven years.
They’ve gone about their business diligently following the heartbreak of conceding an injury-time to bitter rivals Rovers having played the last half-hour with ten men.
A trip to the RSC was first on the agenda on an own goal from former Hoops defender Sam Bone and Mandroiu’s first of the season sealed the win before half time.
Monday night’s visit of Liam Buckley’s Sligo was a nervier affair before winger Twardek sank the hopes of the club from whom he joined in the off-season.
The short turnaround meant first starts of the season for Paddy Kirk, Conor Levingston and Luke Wade Slater, while Ciaran Kelly also made his bow having joined from St Patrick’s Athletic.
Two more ex-Saints, linked up for the opener as Michael Barker’s long ball down the right found the rampaging Glen McAuley.
The former Liverpool trainee pulled the ball back for Wade-Slater but, having dealt with the cross, Sligo couldn’t prevent Mandroiu from slamming home the opener from six yards.
Sligo, who announced the signing of New Zealand international striker Ryan de Vries after the game, piled on the pressure after the break as they searched for their first goal of the season.
Bohs sealed the win on the break in the final minute as Wade-Slater skipped down the left and picked out Twardek to slot home the insurance goal.
“I’m delighted with the win,” said goalkeeper Stephen McGuinness, who has stepped into the big shoes vacated by James Talbot following his injury against Rovers.
“Winning 2-0 away in very tough conditions [at Waterford] and coming up against another tough team, keeping another clean sheet was the foundation and, with the two boys scoring, it was excellent.
“It was much like it was against Waterford. They put us under a lot of pressure towards the end of the game and I thought we managed it excellently.
“I thought we dealt with the pressure well and Paddy’s [Kirk] block off the line sums up what this team will do for each other.”
Bohs face another tough away trip to Derry City on Friday night with the Candystripes well-rested following the postponement of their tie with Pats on Monday.
“We want to go up there and get three points,” added the winter signing from Cabinteely.
“We don’t want to just settle; we want to be at the top of the table. That’s where this team really want to be, and where they deserve to be.
“It’s a fantastic group, and we’ll go up there – play our ball and hopefully we’ll come back with the three points.”