Leyton Orient striker Ollie Palmer insists his side are fully focused on the task at hand when they visit Mansfield tomorrow afternoon. The O’s drew with Scunthorpe last weekend in the FA Cup and with a potential third round glamour tie at Chelsea, Palmer highlights that “we are not there yet, we have still got to play Scunthorpe away and it is going to be a tough game”
Palmer returns to his former club who he left in the summer to join the O’s. However Palmer has no intentions of the occasion getting to him, speaking to leytonorient.com earlier today, he stated “obviously it is my old club, I was there for a couple of years but I am focused on our job here and what we have to do”. He added “I am not really to bothered about going back there, I am enjoying my time here at the Orient, may career is here. I am really enjoying my football, really happy and focused. It is another opposition and we are going there to take all 3 points”.
Palmer spent the back end of his time at Mansfield on loan at Grimsby last season where he hit 8 goals in 18 games however the front man has found it harder to find the back of the net this season. Palmer missed a glorious opportunity against Scunthorpe last weekend but knows that his manager still believes in him. “It is frustrating for me, I want to score goals more than anything, the miss chance against Scunthorpe, I know more than anybody what I did wrong but I am keeping positive”. Palmer continued “the gaffer still believes in me, I am confident that once I get that goal they will probably come thick and fast”
- Palmer has scored 3 goals in 24 appearances for Leyton Orient
- But he only has 1 goal in 20 league matches and has gone 17 league matches without a goal
With the potential glamour tie in January, O’s boss Ian Hendon is keen that his players stay focused on the league business at hand. Hendon spoke to leytonorient.com stating “it was a good performance last week against a team in a higher division but we are back to the league business now and it is important we go to Mansfield and pick up a result”
The O’s face 3 games in the next week ahead of the busy Christmas period and Hendon knows that this could be key for the rest of the season. “it will be another tough period for us with 3 fixtures in the space of a week so we will have to make sure we are fully prepared for the difficult challenges that come our way”
Mansfield sit a place and a point above Orient and Hendon knows what a tough challenge his side face tomorrow, “they have got off to a good start and may well have surprised one or two. They are a strong side and work hard for each other so it is going to be difficult”
Key O’s Statistics
- Away Record – P10 W3 D4 L3 F14 A17
- Form in last 8 – W2 D4 L2 F10 A11
- Last 5 away games (most recent first) – DLWDL
- Orient have only taken 7 point from last 24 available on travels
- Have 5 clean sheets this season – 0-0 draw last weekend was first clean sheet in 7 games
- Fail to score in 3 games – scoring in all but one away match this season
- Have scored in 14 of their last 16 matches in all competitions
- There has been at least 1 goal in every match involving Orient in the league
- Have conceded 5 goals in the last 15 minutes of matches away from home including 2 of their last 4 conceded away
- 4 of the last 7 goals conceded by Orient have been in the last 15 minutes of matches
- Orient would sit 6th if games ended after 75 minutes
- Have taken 26 of 31 points when scoring first – have scored first in last 4 matches but only won 1 of them
- Taken only 5 points from possible 24 when conceding first – 5 draws
Mansfield welcome Orient to Field Mill after a welcomed break according to manager Adam Murray. Mansfield lost in the FA Cup to Oldham so had a rest last weekend but Murray insists that the “break couldn’t have come at a better time”. Murray’s sides last game saw them win 3-1 away at Barnet and the rest break sets them up nicely for the key Christmas period.
Murray spoke to mansfieldtown.net earlier this week, “we have been working hard, we had a free weekend to balance rest and recovery. We have put some work in on the training ground, with Saturday, Tuesday games, we lost that flow and consistency and needed it in every aspect”.
The Stags finished 21st in League 2 last year but Murray highlighted that “the league has to be the priority this year, the year we had last year we never wanted to happen again and we are fully focused on the league”. Mansfield have been slowly improving since last season and the Town boss was exceptionally happy with his squad after their win at Barnet, “we showed there are two sides to our squad, 1st half we dominated and played some great stuff while second half we couldn’t get out”
With vacant managerial jobs in the football league, Murray’s name was linked to different jobs but the Town boss only sees that as a good thing, “it proves how good the group is doing, any club linked with vacancies in higher divisions shows how well the club is doing. Credit must go to the players, I drive the ship, their the ones that carry out the game plans and put performances in”.
With the club in the play off places, midfielder Jamie McGuire knows the importance of the coming months for his side. Speaking to mansfieldtown.net earlier, “it is a big couple of months, the second half of the season, we are sitting in 7th place with the big boys. We are doing really well, we are looking forward to the game”. Murray echoes McGuire’s views “ we want to beat one of the big boys now, we are picking up some good results against a lot of teams. We want to cement ourselves in the top 7, you have to beat team in around you if you want to do that”.
Both sides have struggled against sides in the top half of the table, their records against top half of the table and bottom half of the table are show below
- Top half record – P10 W0 D5 L5 – 5 out of their 32 points
- Town only scored 4 goals in those 10 matches
- Bottom half record – P10 W9 D0 L1 – 27 of their 32 points
- Conceded only 7 goals, keeping 5 clean sheets
- Orient’s top half record – P9 W1 D5 L3 – 8 of their 31 points
- Scored only 9 goals in those 9 games
- Bottom half record – P11 W7 D2 L2 – 23 of their 31 points
- Average over 2 goals a game against bottom half teams
Murray thinks he understands the reason why he side have not won against a side in the top half of the table, “the 1% lack of focus costs you in certain games, we might be able to get away with certain errors but against top of the you don’t get that chance”
Despite welcoming one of their play off challengers, McGuire stated that “we are not to worried about Orient, they have spent a bit of money and have a big budget. But we are not to bothered, we have to worry about ourselves and the game plan the gaffer has put in place for us”.
Key Mansfield Statistics
- P20 W9 D5 L6 F28 A18
- Home record – P10 W3 D4 L3 F14 A10 – taken 13 of 32 points at home
- Form in last 8 – W3 D1 L4
- Last 6 at home – LWDLLW
- Failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 5 games, but kept 3 in last 9
- Only Plymouth (7) and Wycombe (8) have kept more clean sheets than Mansfield 7
- Failed to score in 4 of their last 6 games and 3 of last 4 at home
- Only Yeovil (9) have fail to score in more games (7)
- Only Plymouth and Oxford (16) and Portsmouth have conceded less than Town
- 4 of their 9 wins been by 2 goals, all 3 at home
- No team has conceded less goals in the second half, 5 goals
- 39% of their goals are scored in the final 30 minutes, gaining 5 points
- 9 of their 14 home goals have been in the second half
- Record scoring first – W8 D2 L0 – home- W3 D2
- Won their last 7 when they have scored first
- Conceded first – W1 D1 L6 – home – D1 L3
- Lost their last 5 games when they conceded first
Mansfield will be without Chris Clements who was sent off away at Barnet last time out. Mal Benning, Corbin Shires and Nicky Hunt all remain sideline with injuries however Chris Beardsley is set to play a part despite a broken nose suffered at Barnet.
Murray acknowledges the fact that Orient are a good side “I think Orient will be in the top 3 or 4, look at the squad and resources. They are one of the big clubsin this league. It will be a tough challenge but it gives another chance for the group to pit their wits against the better players in the division”
Leyton Orient are set to still be without Sammy Moore, Paul McCallum and Dean Cox while top scorer Jay Simpson and Alex Cisak will have to undergo late fitness tests. Connor Essam is set to return to the matchday squad after returning from an ankle injury picked up in October. John Marquis returns after completing a one match ban against Scunthorpe while Cole Kpekawa also returns after being cup tied last weekend.
- Jay Simpson has netted 15 league goals for Orient, including 4 of the last 5 Orient have scored
Head To Head – Mansfield 12, Draw 13, Leyton Orient 23
Last meeting – 15/04/06 – Mansfield 0-1 Leyton Orient
- Orient have won the last 6 meetings between the sides and last 2 at Field Mill, both 1-0
- The O’s are unbeaten in the last 7 games – winning 6, drawing 1
- Manfield last won in 2001 with a 3-2 win at home
Prediction – Mansfield 1-1 Leyton Orient