Leyton Orient midfielder Josh Wright is confident his side can survive the drop and has urged the fans to keep supporting their team to the end of the season. Wright who signed a permanent deal till the end of the season in January with the O’s, notched his first goal in 3 years away at Coventry to give Orient 3 vital points in their battle for survival.
Wright has played a key role this season with injuries to Lloyd James and Romain Vincelot meaning he has been an integral part of the team. Wright is loving his football at the O’s
“This club means everything to me, My local club, I love it here. It has only been good and we have stuck together. There has been tough times and we have to ride them and stick together but with the fans sticking with us and keep supporting, we will be fine”
Orient’s 1-0 victory at Coventry pulled them out of the relegation zone for the first time in 2 months and were kept out of the bottom 4 after results went in their favour on Good Friday. Wright hailed the “amazing fans” at Coventry, dedicating his goal to them “I mean this from the bottom of my heart, it was for them, I was so happy to do it in front of them. So happy to see them go home happy and enjoy their Easter Weekend”.
596 fans traveled to the Ricoh on Wednesday night, in many thanks to free coach travel provided by O’s chairman Francesco Bechetti, “it was absolutely brilliant what the club did for them, it gives that little bit extra, turning up on a Wednesday night so close to Easter with many having work tomorrow” added Wright.
Fabio Liverani also praised Wright “I was very pleased the goal came from Josh Wright, a player who always tries to motivate and give something extra”. The O’s recorded back to back wins after coming from behind, to win 3-1 at home to Port Vale and Liverani stated the importance of the game “it was a very important game, a 6 pointer, 3 extremely important points for us and helped us recover 2 points lost at home to Barnsley”
Orient had to survive an onslaught at the start of the second half at Coventry with both Liverani and Wright highlighting Orient’s character:
Liverani “10-15 minutes where we really struggled but because of the goalkeeper and defenders they didn’t score”
Wright “It is a team game, great team spirit with everyone playing their part: staff, management, fans; it was absolutely fantastic”
Orient face Gillingham tomorrow as they look for their third consecutive win on route to potential safety in League 1. Gillingham lost 1-0 at home to Fleetwood on Good Friday and understand the test that awaits them at Brisbane Road “it will be a difficult test, as every game is, they have good players at the club and have underachieved. They will be buoyant after back to back wins so it will be a difficult encounter” stated Gills boss, Justin Edinburgh.
Gills boss Justin Edinburgh rued his side after they conceded first in their fourth consecutive home match “we huffed and puffed coming up short”. Edinburgh joined the Gills in February after 4 years with Newport County and has made it clear that he wants a good end of the season, “we need to finish positively, now to the end of the season, we have still got something to play for” Edinburgh is aware of maintaining good form which sets them up for a good pre season, “people remember how you finish and fans that come here deserve better”.
- Form since Edinburgh’s appointment: P12- W5, D4, L3 – 19 points
- Orient’s form in same period: P12 – W6, D1, L5 – 19 points
Gillingham have picked up only 21 points on their travels this season with only four teams picking up less: Yeovil (15), Crewe and Crawley (17) and Port Vale (19). But the Gills are one of three teams that sit in mid-table with relatively little to play for. With relegation and play-off issues to be decided in the coming weeks, Edinburgh is making his mind up on player’s contract but insists “I pick a team on merit, if players play well they keep the shirt. It is a competitive, strong environment”.
- Gills picked up 6 points out of last 18 available – W1, D3, L2
- Only kept 3 clean sheets in 20 away matches but achieved 2 in last 4 matches on their travels (3-0 win at Swindon, 0-0 at Bristol City)
Both Gillingham and Orient score and concede more goals in the second half with all 5 goals in Gillingham’s 3-2 victory over Orient in November coming in the second period.
- Gillingham scored 34/54 and conceded 31/58 in second period
- Netted 18 in final 15 minutes of matches
- Gillingham would sit 21st if games ended after 75 minutes – gained 8 points
- Orient scored 31/51 and conceded 29/54 in second period
- Netted 14 of 31 on final 15 minutes
- Orient would sit 15th in games ended after 75 minutes
Orient have been improved in recent weeks and they climbed outside the bottom 4 in the last week. Their improvement has been in many thanks to their defensive record conceding only 8 in their last 10 matches with Wright insisting game plans being important “we had to do what we had to do and we done it. It was so important to come here and get the three points”.
- Clean sheet against Coventry was 14th of the season and 3rd in last 5 matches
- Only Preston (5) and Barnsley (6) have conceded less goals in last 10 matches
- Failed to score in 10 matches with 5 of them at home but Orient netted in 4 of their last 5 at Brisbane Road (only blank 0-0 draw with Barnsley)
- Won 3 of their last 5 at home (3-0 Yeovil, 3-0 Oldham and 3-1 Port Vale)
- 4 of their 5 home victories been by 3 goals other win was by 2
Gillingham won their last away game at Crawley 2-1 and will be looking for much of the same when they travel to E10 tomorrow.Gills have only 1 defeat on their travels in 7 matches (3-0 at Chestefield) picking up 11 points from last 18 available. The first goal will be crucial tomorrow as both sides look for victory.
- 11 of Gillingham 13 wins (all 5 away wins) come when they have scored first
- Won their last 3 away games when netted first
- Picked up 16 of their 21 points in games where they have scored first
- Only collected 3 points from possible 30 when conceded first
- Played 15 games against bottom 10 – P15 – W5, D5, L5 – 20/45 points
- But in 7 away games played record is – P7 – W2, D2, L3
Orient will look to continue their improved form and hope to climb up the table as they face 2 winnable games next in Gillingham and Crewe while the Gills hope their season doesn’t fizzle out. Edinburgh could shuffle his squad with a potential recall for Cody McDonald who is their leading scorer with 14 but only netted 2 in last 7.
Orient may recall Ryan Hedges who did come on at Coventry despite playing 90 minutes the previous night for Wales U21 while Lloyd James continues his return to fitness and will certainly play a part at some point tomorrow. Dean Cox could miss out after suffering an injury in the warm up at Coventry.
Fabio Liverani knows how important last remaining games are “there are 7 games to go, every game as important as the next, our aim is to get maximum points game by game to ensure we get out of this situation”.
Wright knows that at this stage of the season “every team is fighting for their lives, teams at the top, middle and bottom playing for contracts, which ever way you look at it, people are fighting for livelihoods.
Wright urged fans to keep supporting at Brisbane Road tomorrow “We have to regroup, dust ourselves down come Monday. Listen, that goal was for them tonight really do mean that, hopefully they keep supporting us in that way, to give us that extra help”
- Gillingham have won the last two games between sides (3-2 and 1-0) both at Priestfield
- Orient beat Gillingham 5-1 in April last year in arguably Orient’s best performance in recent years
Prediction – Leyton Orient 2-0 Gillingham