Leyton Orient midfielder Dean Cox is loving his football under new manager Ian Hendon, the diminutive winger spoke to Leytonorient.com after his side went top of the division after a 3-0 win over Stevenage. “I am really enjoying my football and so are all of the lads, you can see the work ethic that we have got, we look very fit and teams finding it hard to combat us”
It took Orient over an hour to break through a resolute Stevenage side but Cox insists that with “the players we have up front, we are always going to be a tough team to play against”. Three wins from three league matches has seen Orient start the season on the up after relegation last season and Cox has praised the impact that Hendon has had:
“He has got us well drilled, he has done very well, the lads get on with him. It’s all black and white, we know what we are doing and the jobs as players we have to go out there and do. We need to do what we have been doing every week and that will be the challenge now”
Hendon himself was delighted with the result on Tuesday but is keeping his feet fully on the ground “There is a long, long way to go, we are 3 games in of a 46 game season so feet are firmly on the ground. All of the lads are looking forward to Newport”. Speaking to leytonorient.com, the O’s boss was pleased with his side despite Stevenage making it difficult for them, “I said before we went out, what happens if the opposition get a goal and make it tough for you, then make them aware that it’s not always going to be plain sailing and it wasn’t tonight”
The game changed after Hendon introduced Blair Turgott in the second half to change the home sides formation which forced the opening goal. Hendon praised the former West Ham youngster’s impact “I have worked with Blair, he has got that in his locker, we brought him on to supply but ended up popping up with one”. Turgott’s first goal for Orient epistomised their spirit and togetherness which Hendon loves to see:
“When we score a goal, all the lads celebrate, that’s a bit of spirit that they have amongst them and love to see it. I hope it has come from the staff in how we treat them day to day. They are a good group, the subs are coming on in every game and putting a shift in and that’s what we want them to do”.
Cox who played two positions on Tuesday night against Stevenage insists that “competition for places is fierce and you have got to try and keep the shirt”. With Ollie Palmer, Blair Turgott and Alan Dunne all having an impact from the bench Cox knows that “it will be crucial, they are hungry and want to do well, it’s what you need from the bench”.
Orient travel to Wales to face Newport tomorrow and goalkeeping coach Lee Harrison stated earlier today to leytonorient.com that “we won’t underestimate them, we have had them watched, they are a young side, very energetic and we need to do what we have been doing”.
Harrison followed Hendon to the Orient in the summer and the former Orient stopper is enjoying his time at the O’s; “It’s been great, I have been here before, it was like coming home, I haven’t had to have a settling in period it has been too tough for me”. Harrison has seen only 1 goal conceded in the three league games and highlighted that “confidence is always high when you win games, we are finding it now you have to battle for an hour but we have players that are a level above. You’d home that comes through”.
Tomorrow’s opponents Newport have only picked up 1 point from a possible 9 in the league so far and boss Terry Butcher knows that his “side need to be more ruthless in both boxes”. Speaking to newport-county.com yesterday, he stated that “we have come a long way in a short period of time, we are looking to push up the table. We are a new team finding our feet in the league. We have set a standard in games but it needs to be higher attacking and defending”
It was a summer of change at Rodney Parade with the club looking to move over to fan ownership alongside Butcher’s appointment. The former England International moved to Wales after 5 seasons in Scotland and his first task was to rebuild his squad. With 18 departures from the club, Butcher worked well in bringing in 13 including names from non-league but has had limited luck with several injuries at the start of the season.
His young side lost 1-0 away at Hartlepool on Tuesday night and Butcher was disappointed that his side didn’t take anything from the game. Speaking after the match to newport-county.com, “we passed the ball well and created 1 or 2 reasonable half chances but the difference between the sides was they had a shot that hit the target we didn’t. We should have done more in the final third, that is the difference between getting something from game and not”
The average age of his side was 23.5 years including three of his starting 11, 18 or younger, Butcher knows that his side “need experience on the pitch, we have a lot to come back which will benefit us with calmer heads might have helped turned the screw”. The visit of Orient is only County’s second home fixture of the season and Butcher stated that “if you have good possession you have got to test them with it”.
Butcher added 21 year old forward Zak Ansah on loan from Charlton and Josh Laurent a 20 year old midfielder who are both available for tomorrow’s clash which helps boosts the ranks. The County manager is pleased with both arrivals “Josh is young and has legs to get around the pitch and gives us more numbers in the middle while Ansah is an attacking player, he has more experience. Proven at this level after being on loan at Plymouth last season”
Butcher is aware of threat that the league leaders pose “they are a good strong side, with some good players McCallum upfront with Simpson and Cox in behind them. They have goals throughout the side and will be confident. They are the league leaders but we need to take the next step and go in front in game, we are what we are and we will have a go at them”.
Newport have both Ansah and Josh Laurent available for tomorrow’s game while Matt Taylor, Kevin Feely, Andrew Hughes, Nathan Ralph, Alex Rodman and Lenell John-Lewis are all still missing for the Exiles.
Hendon could name an unchanged line up for the fourth consecutive league match however Alan Dunne is set to undergo a late fitness test ahead of the game.
Head to Head – Newport 17, Draw 13, Leyton Orient 17
Last Meeting – 01/03/1988 – Newport County 0-0 Leyton Orient
- First meeting between sides for 27 years
- Orient have only won 1 of the last 10 meetings
- Orient last won at Newport in a 2-1 win back in 1955
Prediction – Newport County 1-2 Leyton Orient
I think this could prove another hard game for the O’s, with County youthful side I think they will started brightly and could nick an early goal. Hendon will look to change his side and Turgott and Palmer will provide the impact in the second half to keep Orient’s winning run continuing.