Leyton Orient defender Nicky Hunt hopes his side can make a statement to the rest of League 2 when they host league leaders Northampton tomorrow. Hunt made his debut in his sides 1-0 away victory at Portsmouth and hopes his side can make it 4 wins from 5 games under player manager Kevin Nolan.
- Orient sit 7th on 46 points, 1 point ahead of 8th placed Portsmouth
Hunt joined from Mansfield on deadline day and has settled in well to life in London. Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s crunch match against the Cobblers to leytonorient.com, “the lads have been great along with the playing staff. It has been a really nice experience coming into new surroundings. I have really settled in”.
- League Record – P30 W12 D10 L8 F46 A41
- Form in last 8 – W4 D1 L3
- Home Form – P15 W7 D4 L4 F25 A19
- Only Carlisle (27), Notts County and Northampton (26) have scored more home goals than Orient
- Last Home games (most recent first) – LWLWDDDW
The win at Portsmouth gave Orient their third clean sheet in four matches something which Hunt knows is imperative to challenge at the top, “it is always nice to keep a clean sheet, the gaffer keeps harping on about, clean sheets win matches. We proved on Saturday that if we keep the back door closed we always have a chance of scoring goals with the attacking players in the team”.
- Kept 7 clean sheets – 4 of them at home
- Have won 3 of the 4 games since Nolan’s appointment
- Both teams have scored in 21 of their 30 league games and 10 of their 15 home games
The former Bolton full back played alongside Nolan for nine years at the Reebok Stadium and feels that his former teammate has instilled belief into the squad since his arrival, “he has brought a sense of believing in our own ability, he wants us to go out and express on the pitch. You can see that in the last 4 games the lads are really enjoying their football”.
- Only failed to score in 2 league games
- Scored in 15 of their 17 home matches in all competitions
- Have scored in their last 14 league matches
- There has been at least 1 goal in every league match
Despite Northampton sitting top of the table, Hunt feels that it is a big game for them too, “we are more than capable of showing the whole league, making a statement that we are up there on merit, we only want to climb higher in the league. It is a great test for us but it is massive for them to come it our home ground and try and beat us”
Kevin Nolan was very happy with how his side responded to their home defeat to Cambridge at Fratton Park last weekend. Speaking after the win to leytonorient.com “The last game was not us and not what I except. Today you have seen a different team and they did exactly what was asked of them. We have proved now what the standards are and we have to keep them”.
- 6 of their 12 wins have been by at least 2 goals
- 26 of their 46 goals have been scored in the second half
- 15 of their 25 home goals have been scored in the second half
- Only Portsmouth (18) have scored more home goals in the second half
- Only 1 of Orient’s last 8 goals have been in the second half (Palmer vs Exeter)
- Orient have not scored a first half goal under Nolan
The win moved Orient back into the play off mix but Nolan was quick to play down the significance of the result at a playoff rival. “It was a fantastic win but it is only three points, playing your rivals the three points feels better. Our feet our firmly on the ground and we will make sure that on Monday we start preparing for Northampton”.
- Orient have scored 20 goals in the final 30 minutes of matches
- They would sit 11th if games ended after 60 minutes
- 50% of Orient’s match have seen over 2.5 goals
Nolan’s side were backed by more than 1000 away fans at Portsmouth last weekend which surprised the former West Ham man. “I wasn’t expecting that, the support has been incredible since I took over”. Nicky Hunt echoed his managers thoughts and acknowledges that his side have to make Brisbane Road a fortress till the end of the season, “we want to start on Saturday, the plan is to win the game and with the fans behind us it should be a great experience for all the lads”.
- Record Scoring first – W11 D5 L3 home- W6 D1 L1
- Only Northampton (19) and Oxford (18) have scored first in more games than Orient
- Record conceding first – W1 D5 L5 home- W1 D3 L2
- Have only won 1 of their last 15 league matches conceding first (3-2 vs Portsmouth on Boxing Day)
Hunt and other debutant Shaun Brisley slotted into the back four seemingly at Portsmouth which Hunt knows is never easy to do. But speaking to leytonorient.com “everybody is working hard for each other, even the lads out of the team are working hard to get back into the side. We have trained hard and overall the back four looked pretty settled Saturday, long may it continue.
- Orient have only lost 1 of their 10 games played against the top eight (2-1 defeat at Bristol Rovers)
- 27 of their 46 points have come against the bottom half of the league
- Record against the top half – P15 W4 D7 L4
Northampton arrive in E10 as the form side in the country since their winding up petition handed to them back in October. The Cobblers continued their fine form which has seen them go four points clear at the top of league 2 with a 2-0 victory over York on Saturday. Goals from John Joe-O’Toole and Marc Richards saw Chris Wilder’s side increase their lead over fourth placed Mansfield to 13 points.
Since October 20th – W13 D1 L1 F32 A15
- Form (most recent first): WWWWWWLWWWWDWW
- Collecting 40 points from a possible 45. They have collected 12 more points than any other club in League 2 in that period.
- Their only defeat came in a 2-1 home defeat Portsmouth
- None of the 92 clubs in the top four divisions in England have taken more points than Northampton in that period.
Wilder took over Northampton just over two years ago when the Cobblers sat six points adrift at the bottom of League two. Wilder has turned around their fortunes and knows it was not an easy task. Speaking to northamptonfc.o.uk yesterday, “we have worked extremely hard,everybody behind the scenes has done really well. There has been a big change in personnel and style, the results where we were and where we are now highlights the big change in mentality and attitude of the group”.
- League Record – P28 W19 D4 L5 F51 A31
- Top scorers in the league
- Form in last 8 – W7 L1 F18 A8
- Won there last 6 league games
- Away Record – P13 W8 D3 L2 F25 A19
- Only Morecambe (27) have scored more goals away from home
- Last away games (most recent first) – LWWWWWD (Bold – cup games)
Defender Ryan Cresswell felt his side battled horrendous conditions to pick up their sixth straight win in the league against York. Speaking after the match to northamptonfc.co.uk, “it was tough out there, the wind played havoc but overall we dealt with it better and it is why we won”. Cressswell came back into the side having missed out on the previous three games and understands that with his side where they are, competition for places is fierce “we have four center halves who could play in any league two side, it is healthy competition, once you get the shirt you have to keep it”.
- Kept 8 clean sheets – only 1 away from home
- Have conceding at least once in their last 16 away games in all competitions
- Only have 1 clean sheet in their last 24 away games in all competitions
- Both Teams have scored in 18 of their 28 league matches and 11 of their 13 away matches
- 13 of their 19 wins have been by 1 goal and 7 of their 8 away wins
Cresswell praised his sides professional attitude but knows that they have to stay grounded as anything can happen in football. “You have to stick together in this league, we all want the same aim, promotion, we want it on our CV, we work hard in the week. We stay firmly grounded and take every game as it comes, hopefully digging out performances and putting a show on for the fans”
- Failed to score in 2 league matches – both of them in August
- Have scored in their last 24 league matches
- Scored 25 of their 51 goals between 30-60 minutes, not team has scored more in that period
- 14 of their 25 away goals have been scored in that period
- Scored 16 goals in the opening 30 minutes, the joint most in the division
- But only netted 10 goals in the final 30 minutes of games, the worse in the league
Wilder is relishing his first meeting with Kevin Nolan tomorrow, “we are really looking forward to the game, we have fantastic games coming up, we are playing with freedom and a real positive attitude with the run we are on. It has not been given to us, we have had to work hard for it but to get those wins we have done a lot of thing right” Wilder continued “we recognise big clubs in the division, we had a great game with Orient earlier in the season”
- Northampton face Oxford at the Kassam Stadium on Tuesday
- They have led for 1118 minutes this season, the most in the league and 265 more than any other side in League 2
- They have only trailed for 287 minutes in games
- 61% of their games have seen over 2.5 goals
- 33% of their goals have come from set pieces – either corners or free kicks – 16/49
- 22% of their goals have come from corners – 11/49
- 5 of their 7 goals have been from set pieces.
Read more about the threats of Northampton Town – Cobblers in Town
Shaun Brisley played the first half of the season for Northampton and Wilder knows that Orient have added well in the January window “they have kept a lot of good players and added well. They are formidable opposition, they will be looking to win four out of five games. Their season is not dead they there is plenty of life in their season. People in this league don’t want to lose games”
- Record scoring first – W14 D3 L2 away W5 D2
- No team has opened the scoring more this season
- Record conceding first – W5 D1 L3 – away W3 D1 L2
- Have won their last 4 and 5 of their last 6 after falling behind
- Only Wimbledon (16) have taken as many points from losing positions
It is a rarity to have player managers in the football league but Wilder knows that Orient have the backroom staff to make the appointment work, “I should imagine he will think he is good enough to have a desired effect to improve the team. You have to have a good number two and in Andy Hessenhaler they have that”.
- Record against top half – P13 W7 D3 L3
The former Oxford manager is fully aware of threat that Orient could pose to them at Brisbane Road tomorrow, “they beat Portsmouth on Saturday and by all reports we read they comfortably did and should have beaten them by 2 or 3. They will be full of confidence and Kevin will be thinking that if they go on a good run they could sneak into the automatics come the end of the season”
Kevin Nolan could name an unchanged side tomorrow with Nicky Hunt and Shaun Brisley set to keep their place in defense. Nigel Atangana could return to the side after Nolan left out the January recruit at Portsmouth after a gentlenman’s agreement between the sides. Paul McCallum and Dean Cox continue their comeback from injury but are still away off while Lloyd James is nearing full fitness.
Nolan is looking for more of the same from his squad tomorrow, speaking to the East London Advertiser today “we are looking for more of the same, we want to put in a good, solid performance and show lots of quality. It is going to be another tough game and need to make sure we impose ourselves then get the three points”
Northampton should have defender Zander Diamond available after being taken off against York with concussion. Lawson D’Ath is fit along with Luke Prosser and Danny Rose but with competition for places, Wilder understands that some players may be left out.
Head to Head- Leyton Orient 28 Draw 21 Northampton 29
Last Meeting – 26/09/15 – Northampton 1-1 Leyton Orient
- Orient are unbeaten in the last 3 meetings between the sides
- They are without a win in the last six league meetings
- Last league win came in a 1-0 victory in 2006
- Orient have only won 1 of the last 5 games at Brisbane Road, a 2-0 JPT victory in 2014
- Both teams have scored in 4 of the last 5 meetings
- 3 of the last league games have been draws
- Northampton last won at Brisbane Road in 2009, (3-1 win)
Prediction – Leyton Orient 2-2 Northampton