Leyton Orient keeper Alex Ciask has made tomorrow’s clash with Crewe as a “must win” fixture for the East London Club. Orient sit above the “Alex” on goal difference but Ciask knows that “it is a massive game, where we have to take three points”. The O’s fought back from 3-1 down at home to Gillingham on Easter Monday with Ciask valuing the character of the home side.
The on loan Burnley keeper joined in February and has become a fans favourite in E10 with his displays between the sticks. Ciask’s brilliance kept Orient in the game on Monday with the keeper describing it “as a basketball game, we could have even won it at the end”. Orient know how vital a result is tomorrow with Fabio Liverani concerned about the defensive mistakes made in last match.
Liverani spoke to the press today ” we made too many mistake defensively and we have worked on it all week in training”. With both sides equal on points going into tomorrow, a result for either side could bring momentum for their push for League 1 safety. Liverani’s side have improved defensively from the start of the season with only 9 goals conceded in the last 10 games but with 3 conceded last time out, it is a worry for the Italian.
Crewe have dropped right back into the relegation dog-fight in recent weeks and with their 1-0 defeat away at Chesterfield, The “Alex” dropped into the bottom 4. Crewe keeper Paul Rachukba has described their next games as “5 key games, cup finals for everyone involved, points are paramount”. But Crewe have only won 1 in their last 6 and 2 of their last 11 matches.
- Collected 4 points from last 18 available – W1, D1, L4
- Collected 8 points from last 30 available – W2, D2, L6
However more of a concern for their manager, Steve Davis is their inability to score. Speaking after their defeat at Chesterfield “We tried to change it second half to get momentum and life up front but found it difficult to penetrate”. He continued “Fine margins, gaps did open up and we can’t fault their effort in the second period but we fell up short”
- Crewe failed to score in 4 of their last 5 matches
- Only scored 5 goals in their last 10 matches
- Only Yeovil (31) and Walsall (36) have scored less goals in the League than Crewe (37)
- Failed to score in 15 matches with 8 being at home (Lost 5 of those games)
Both Rachukba and Davis talked about Crewe playing “positively, attacking football and show what we are about”. With 9 teams embralled in the relegation scrap the Alex keeper knows that “pressure will be on other teams as well, we have proved that we can beat anyone in the league, why no different on Saturday”.
Rachukba is right with Crewe beating Bristol City and Peterborough at home whilst gaining draws against Preston and Swindon.
- Crewe’s home record – W8, D5, L7 – 29 points
It has been their away form which has let them down with only Yeovil picking up less points on the road that them.
- Away – W5, D2, L14 F18 A45 – 17 points
A major concern for Crewe is the reason they are currently in the bottom 4 is goal difference. -33 before tomorrow’s match with the next worse in Crawley at -20, it could be the reason they fail to survive. In fact only Blackpool have conceded more goals in the football league away from home than the “Alex”. Key statistics below:
- Kept 10 clean sheets with 8 beginning at home –
- 10 out of their 13 wins been by a 1 goal margin (5 out of their 8 home wins)
- 12 out of their 13 wins been achieved after they have scored the first goal including all 8 home wins (26 out of 29 home points come when Crewe netted first)
- Only won 1 in 19 games when conceded the first goal – losing all 5 at home
- Conceded 47 of their 70 goals in the second half – with 36 in last 30 minutes
- Worse record in last 30 minutes of matches in League 1
- Crewe would sit 14th on 49 points if games lasted 60 minutes (lost 7 games in last 30 minutes).
The O’s travel to Gresty Road with good away form after a win at one of their relegation rivals Coventry last time out. Orient have been thankful for their away form at times this season after no win in their first 8 at home. But O’s boss Liverani has stated that “we will pay them maximum respect, they are doing well, play good football and picked up good result against top clubs”.
- Last 4 away – Won (1-0 at Coventry), Lost (1-0 at Crawley), Won (2-0 at Walsall), Lost (1-0 at Crawley)
- Away record – W7, D5, L7 – 26 of their 46 points on their travels
- 14 clean sheets this season ( 5 away), Failed to score in 10 games (5 away)
- Best goal difference of sides around them -3
Orient and Crewe have both won just under 50% of their games against the bottom 10 clubs, results below: (home in red, away in green):
- Crewe’s record – P15 W7, D3, L5 – Home record – P7, W4, D1, L2
- Orient’s record – P17, W8, D3, L6 – Away record – P8, W4, D1, L3
Orient’s trip to Crewe will be their last game against a side in the bottom half of the table with their run in one of the most difficult in sides at the bottom. Crewe still have 3 games against sides at the bottom including tomorrow’s match with their fate in their own hands”. Rachukba knows that tomorrow’s game is a 6 pointer “we need to pick up point quickly so that way hopefully enjoy the last game with no pressure on us”.
- Crewe’s run in – Orient (H), Peterborough (A), Walsall (H), Coventry (A), Bradford (H)
- Orient’s – Crewe (A), Doncaster (H), MK Dons (A), Rochdale (A), Sheff U (H), Swindon (A)
The message was clear from Crewe ahead of tomorrow:
Rachukba “We need to concentrate on doing right things, quickly, simply, getting chances to score. If we score fantastic. So much comes into a winning performance”
Davis “It’s a challenge, step up to it and keep it going, keep them going, keeping your players going and not letting their heads drop. Need to keep them going mentally and physically making sure they get enough rest”
Orient came out 4-1 winners earlier in the season with the game being their first home win of the season. Orient have won the last 3 meetings between the sides with Orient winning 2-1 at Gresty Road last season due to a Chris Dagnall brace.
- Crewe without a win in 7 against Orient
- Have won 1 in 10 against Orient with win coming back in 2008
- Crewe lost 4 out of last 5 meetings at Gresty Road between sides
Orient could give Darius Henderson a start after impressing from the bench against Gillingham while Liverani may look to add an extra man in midfield. Orient were overrun throughout game against Gillingham with Wright and James struggling to gain a grip. Andrea Dossena had a shocker last week so could be dropped with Shane Lowry moving to left back but Gary Sawyer has been ruled out of tomorrow’s clash.
Crewe could make changes with Steve Davis stating that “The midfield is where the game was won, we looked tired but wasn’t much on the bench to change it”. Alex will be looking for Nicky Ajose to add to his 8 league goals this term but has not scored in last 11 matches. Anthony Grant still misses out as he sits out second game due to a ban.
Prediction – Crewe 0-2 Leyton Orient