Leyton Orient striker Jay Simpson says that last year’s relegation is fully behind the East London club. The former Arsenal front man spoke to LeytonOrient.com after striking the opener in the victory over Barnet on Saturday “After last year, it’s gone. We won our first home game, last year we didn’t have the best record at home but we won and push last year behind us”.
The O’s travel to Milton Keynes tomorrow with Simpson knowing what a tough test the newly promoted Dons will pose to the Orient. Simpson is one of only five players remaining at the club who started in their 6-1 demolition at Stadium MK in April.
“It will be a really hard game, they pulled our pants down last season. It was a bad, bad day; as a professional you don’t want to lose like that”
The Dons like Orient struck victory on the opening day but the Dons sent messages that they will not change their style of play after a 4-1 win at Rotherham on Saturday. Karl Robinson was especially pleased with his sides “accomplished performance with team togetherness and quality in all areas”. Robinson joined the Dons in 2009, speaking to Dons Player post match, he stated that “players really took on board everything, they deserve all the credit, when they do things right they are a good side”
The Dons struck 101 league goals on route to achieving promotion to the Championship last year and it is clear to see that they plan on much the same in this campaign. Both Jordan Spence and Dean Bowditch spoke to Dons Player post match hinting at Robinson’s philosophy being followed:
Spence – “We have a style of play, one that we believe in and one we said we wouldn’t change, we managed to dominate most games last year”
Bowditch – “We just continue off last year, it wouldn’t have mattered the opposition, we would have performed in exactly the same way”
Orient will have to especially vigilant tomorrow night having conceded 4 goals in 37 first half minutes in their last visit. But in Ian Hendon they appear on Saturday’s evidence to have a manager with the ability to alter a game to achieve a winning outcome. The midfield diamond failed to create in the first half but Hendon changed to a 4-3-1-2 formation which had the desired effect. However Hendon gave full credit to his squad:
“Fair play to my squad, they kept at it and stuck to the game plan getting rewards in the second half ”
Mathieu Baudry captained the O’s for the first time against Barnet after recently been named captain but looked uncomfortable at times against the physical presence of John Akinde. Hendon speaking to Leytonorient.com stated that “our 2 centre halves were excellent but it was an excellent team performance, at the end of the day we came through and second half looked a much better side”
Hendon could rotate his pack tomorrow night but Simpson hinted at the flourishing partnership between himself and Paul McCallum. “I enjoy playing with Paul, we get on really well off the pitch so it helps playing on the pitch. It is still a new partnership but we had time away and in Spain, hopefully the understanding will just improve”.
Both McCallum and Simpson opened their accounts on Saturday but McCallum could be rested having passed a late fitness test on Saturday. Ollie Palmer could make his debut for the Orient alongside Simpson with Alan Dunne and Blair Turgott pushing for starts. Hendon hinted that loan signings could be made towards the end of the month but “we are in good shape, we have a bench full wanting to get in the team we are moving in the right direction”.
MK have competed well in the League Cup in recent years, including a victory in the second round over Manchester United 4-0. Here is their record from last five seasons:
Orient also have made it too at least the second round in each of the last 6 seasons and put out Aston Villa last year in one of many shocks in the competition.
- Milton Keynes highest scorers in England last season with 101 league goals
- Only Failed to score in 4 of their last 26 games
- Scored 36 goals in their last 11 league matches
- The Dons have won their last 5 games at home and 8 of their last 12 at home
- 8 of the 11 that started against Rotherham played in the 6-1 win over Orient
Karl Robinson is set to shuffle his pack stating that summer signings Sergio Aguza, Matthew Upson and Cristian Benavente should all start tomorrow night. Simon Churck will pushing for a start having come off the bench at Rotherham but the Dons manager will find it hard with the momentum already created by his side.
Head to Head – 14 Meetings – Milton Keynes 7, Leyton Orient 5, Draws 2
Last Meeting – 18/04/2015 – Milton Keynes 6-1 Leyton Orient
Orient’s record at MK – (Most recent result first) – LWLLWLW
Orient’s last win at Stadium MK came in a 3-1 win in 2014
Prediction – Milton Keynes 2-1 Leyton Orient – AET
Despite 2 leagues between the sides, I think that Ian Hendon is better equipped than Orient were last year. Milton Keynes will be on the front foot from the off and having scored 60 goals at home last year will provide a huge threat. Both sides will have confidence from their opening day result but feel that MK’s class will tell over the tie.