“A Test to Prove we Belong at the Top of the League”

Kevin Nolan is hoping his side can continue their unbeaten away record as they travel to Oxford tomorrow afternoon. The O’s are unbeaten in four away games since Kevin Nolan was appointed in January and the former West Ham boss knows that ‘it is a test to prove we belong at the top of the league’.

  • Sit 8th on 53 points – outside the playoffs on goal difference
  • League Record – P35  W14  D11  L10    F51  A48
  • Form in last 8 – W4  D1  L3  F8  A10
  • Away Record – P17  W6  D7  L4  F24  A24
  • Last Away games (most recent first) – DWWWD

Orient dropped out of the play off places after defeat to Luton last weekend with Nolan knowing how important it is going back on an unbeaten run. Speaking to leytonorient.com after the defeat ‘it comes down to not enough chances, our final ball and our final delivery. It’s just that little bit of composure in and around the box we had the runs and knew how they would set up against us’.

  • Kept 9 clean sheets – 4 away from home
  • Kept 3 in their last 4 away games
  • Have kept 5 clean sheets in the 9 games under Kevin Nolan
  • 5 of their 10 defeats have been by 2 or more goals
  • Have conceded in 16 of their 20 away games this season in all competitions

Nolan’s side have struggled to pick up points at home since his appointment but it was no major concern for him after how his side performed against Luton. The former Hammer stated ‘I believe in what we’ve got here, I believe that if we continue to play like that we will win more games than we lose’.

  • Failed to score in 4 games – only 1 away from home
  • Failed to score in 2 of their last 5 games
  • Have scored in their last 14 away league matches
  • Both teams have scored in 22 of 35 matches and 12 of their 17 away games

Defender Nicky Hunt was frustrated with the result but felt his side didn’t have enough in attacking areas. Speaking to leytonorient.comfor a game that we dominated for large majority, we are frustrated coming in with a 1-0 loss. We didn’t really make their keeper work on his debut, it was an incredibly frustrating day all round, the performance was there but couldn’t get the goal’.

  • Have taken 23 points from a possible 27 when leading at half time
  • But taken only 4 points from a possible 30 when losing at half time

Hunt joined in January from Mansfield and has settled into life in London very well, ‘I am thoroughly enjoy it, the training is high intensity and it is a pleasure to come into. It was a bad day at the office today and we can’t have many more like that till the end of the season’. Hunt knows that his side can show the league another performance which will make them stand up and notice when they face Oxford tomorrow. ‘I think we can set a stall out next week, prove a statement to the rest of the league. If we go there and win on their home turf it is game back on’

  • 30 of their 51 goals have been scored in second half including 23 in the final 30 minutes of matches
  • 8 of Orient’s last 9 goals have been scored in the second half
  • 15 of Orient’s 24 away goals conceded have been in the last 15 minutes of each half

Nolan is expecting a very tough test at the Kassam tomorrow and thinks that the U’s will prove a similar test to Northampton. Speaking on the eve of the game to leytonorient.com we had Northampton at our place a couple of weeks back and saw how good and efficient they were. I think you will see the same with this side’. He added ‘I am expecting a very good football game tomorrow and hoping we can come out on top but it is a fantastic opportunity for us’.

  • Record scoring first – W13  D4  L3         away – W6  D3  L2
  • Have won their last 5 when scoring first
  • Record conceding first – W1  D7  L7      away – W0 D4 L2
  • Have not won their last 11 away games when conceding first
  • Have only 1 win in their last 20 games conceding first
  • Have taken only 11 points from a possible 60 in those games

With the season reaching the business end it is important that very member of the squad is raring to go. Nolan acknowledges this ‘there are a lot of big games coming up and everyone has got to be ready which they are. It makes it more difficult top pick an 11 week in, week out’

  • Record against top half – P17   W4  D7  L5     19/53         36%
  • Record against bottom half – P18  W10  D4  L5       34/53     64%

Oxford host Orient after a frustrating 2-2 draw at Plymouth last time out. The U’s took the lead twice but were pegged by the Pilgrims, leaving them six points clear of fourth placed Portsmouth. The U’s have taken 10 points from the last 12 available after back to back defeats in February brought the chasing pack closer to them.

  • Sit second on 65 points
  • League Record – P35  W18  D11  L6  F61  A34
  • 2nd highest scorers in the league behind Northampton
  • Joint 3rd best defensive record in the division

Michael Appleton spoke to oufc.co.uk after the draw ‘Looking at the game, it is definitely two points dropped but hindsight is a wonderful thing. If before the game they were still behind us, we would have been happy with that’. The pitch at Home Park was not the best but Appleton was very happy with the application of his players on the day ‘the way the game went, I thought the players did ever so well, playing very well. We looked as if we were going to score every time we attacked but a little bit of attention to detail cost us in the end’

  • Last 8 – W4  D2  L2  F19  A11
  • Home Record – P17  W7  D6  L4  F25  A15  
  • 41% of their points have been collected at the Kassam
  • Last home games (most recent first) – WLLDLLLW

Oxford and Plymouth sit 13 points behind league leaders Northampton but Appleton stated that despite being one of the teams to catch he would prefer to be in that position, ‘reality is we have the points in the bag, at the minute the lads are in a real good vein of form and it doesn’t matter who comes into the team, they do the business’.

  • Have kept 12 clean sheets – only 3 at home
  • Only kept 1 in their last 10 games in all competitions (4-0 win over York)
  • Have only 1 in their last 8 home games in all competitions
  • Only Oxford and Accrington have not conceded a goal in the opening 15 minutes of home matches this season

Jordan Evans joined on loan from Fulham earlier in the season for the U’s and has had to wait in the wings before making his impression on the first team. Evans was handed his first start for Oxford at Plymouth and knows that the next two games could be pivotal for his side. Speaking to ouf.co.uk post match ‘I think if we get results in our next two matches, we will be pretty confident but every game till then end of the season is massive. We have to make sure we do the right thing and leave everything on the pitch’.

  • Only failed to score in 4 matches – 2 at home
  • Have scored in their last 5 matches but failed in  3 of their last 8 home matches
  • Both teams have scored in 21 of their 35 games and 9 of their 17 home matches         – 5 out of their last league games both teams have scored
  • Have scored 37 of their 61 goals in the final 30 minutes of matches including 11 of their 25 home goals
  • No team in the divisions has netted more in that period

With progression to the final of the Johnstone Paint Trophy and a run in the FA Cup, Oxford have played 47 games in all competitions – more than any other team in the top four divisions. Appleton has been forced to rest players to prevent injury but was glad that his side had ended their run of Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday fixtures. ‘The lads have got  a few days to recuperate now, it has been a long period of games but they will be raring to go when they come back in’ .

  • 9 of their 18 wins have been by 2 or more goals, including 4 of their 7 home wins
  • All 4 of their defeats have been by just 1 goal
  • Only lost 1 of their 12 matches when leading at half time – W8 D3 L1
  • Not won any of their 5 matches when they have been losing at half time
  • Only Northampton (1353) have led for minutes this season than Oxford (1003)
  • Kemar Roofe top league scorer with 13 goals – only 3 have been at home and 10 have been in the second half
  • Roofe has 3 goals in his last 5 appearances

Appelton recognises the strength of the Orient team that visits the Kassam Stadium tomorrow. The U’s blew a 2-0 lead at Brisbane earlier in the season after Jordan Graham was sent off but knows that it will be a difficult game. Speaking ahead of the clash to oufc.co.uk I think if you look at the team on paper, they have arguably the best squad in the division. The names in there, it has been a difficult season with a change of management but Kevin has gone in there and done ever so well’. He added ‘It is going to be a difficult game, there is no doubt about that. It is against a side that thinks they can go up through the playoffs’.

  • Record scoring first – W17  D4  L3        Home – W6    D2  L3
  • Record conceding first  – W1  D5  L3      Home – W1  D3  L1
  • Failed to win their last 6 when conceded first

Oxford ended a run of six home games without a win with a 4-0 victory over York 10 days ago with Appleton hoping that the blip has finished, ‘we have back to back home games in the space of three days, if we can pick up six points it will give everyone a massive lift for the end of the season’.

  • Record against top half – P18  W6  D7   L5     25/65 points    38%
  • Record against bottom half – P17   W12  D4  L1      40/65 points      62%
  • Have only won 2 of their 8 home matches against the top half 
  • 1-0 victories over Plymouth and Wimbledon

Team News

Leyton Orient have one major doubt with Shaun Brisley still struggling with a facial injury picked up in their defeat to Luton last weekend. Brisley was stretched off after losing consciousness after sustaining a gash underneath his eye. Lloyd James is back in training and pushing for a recall to the squad while Paul McCallum and Dean Cox continue their rehabilitation from ACL injuries.

Charlie Grainger is out after suffering a hand injury in training so on loan Crystal Palace goalkeeper David Gregory will be included after joining in midweek.

Oxford will be without Jake Wright, Ryan Taylor and Sam Long who all remain sidelined with injuries Benji Buchel has recovered from his injury and is expected to return while Joe Skarz is available after being rested at Plymouth last weekend.

Head to Head – Leyton Orient 14, Draw 10, Oxford United 14

Last Meeting – 17/10/14 – Leyton Orient 2-2 Oxford United

  • Orient have only lost one of their last 7 meetings with Oxford (1-0 loss in 2005)
  • 12 of the last 14 meetings at Oxford has seen both teams score
  • Orient’s two defeats in their last nine against Oxford have come away from home
  • Their last win at the Kassam Stadium came in their memorable 3-2 victory in 2006

Prediction  – Oxford United 1-1 Leyton Orient

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About mattbristow271993

Boyhood Leyton Orient fan, but love football in general, any league. Football is my passion.
This entry was posted in England, Football, Football League, League 2, Leyton Orient, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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