Leyton Orient striker Ollie Palmer is hoping his side stand up to Fulham when they host them tomorrow night in the first round of the EFL Cup. Palmer’s side drew 1-1 away at Cheltenham on Saturday and is hoping his side can provide upset at the Matchroom Stadium tomorrow.
Palmer started in attack on Saturday in the absence of Jay Simpson and understands the tough test that the former Premier League side will be. Speaking to leytonorient.com earlier today “they couldn’t have got off to a better start, beating Newcastle 1-0 on Friday night. We watched the game in the hotel and they looked organised with a lot of quality players”.
Palmer continued “they are a premiership side really and should be looking to get out of the Championship. They have good players on the bench who will play on Tuesday such as Scott Parker and it will be a tough test for us boys”.
With Orient’s primary aim being promotion this term, squad rotation is likely to take place tomorrow night but winger Gavin Massey sees nothing wrong with a large squad. Speaking after his first goal for the club on Saturday to leytonorient.com “both teams will probably be making changes, there is competition for places we have good players on the bench who are raring to go”.
With the changes to the loan window, it is important to have a big squad if you are to challenge according Massey. “It keeps me on my toes and others which is what you want, everyone wants to play football at the end of the day and there could be a time where players get frustrated”. However “if you are performing well on the training pitch then there is no reason why you should not be picked”.
Massey who joined from Colchester in the summer thought a draw was a fair result against Cheltenham and was happy to get off the mark for his new club. Speaking to leytonorient.com “we started really bright and did exactly what the gaffer wanted us to do. Turn them, put the pressure on them and we killed their mood with the early goal, it was a shame that we couldn’t hold on”.
Andy Hessenthaler thought his side were excellent but better quality in the final third could have seen them return to the Capital with more points. Speaking post match to leytonorient.com “I thought we were excellent in the first half, if perhaps we had a little bit more quality in the final third we could have had two or three before half time. This isn’t an easy place to come but there are lots of positives today”.
Hessenthaler , Massey and Palmer all praised the fans, “they have been different class, even last year when they got frustrated but they would always be here. They came out in force and were right behind the team (Hessenthaler). Palmer thanked “the fantastic support we have had already in pre season and at Cheltenham, with that behind us there is no reason we can’t take the game to Fulham and try and get a good result”.
Fulham opened up the new EFL season with a 1-0 victory over Championship favourites Newcastle on Friday night. Captain Tom Cairney was named man of the match and revealed that “it was the best atmosphere I have played under at the cottage”. Speaking to fulhamfc.com “the build up with Newcastle at home, under the lights, to kick off the season, it doesn’t get much bigger than that. I was thinking about it every night and just couldn’t wait to get it started. What a way to start”.
Cairney continued his 100% record as captain with victory over the Magpies and is hoping that continues at Orient tomorrow, “we want to keep on winning, it is a great habit we have done it most of pre season. Winning is a great feeling, we have Orient Tuesday then Preston which will be tough but we take confidence from tonight”.
The former Blackburn midfielder was recently named captain in the summer for the Cottagers and revealed it was a privilege to lead the team out, “it was amazing to lead the boys, it was a special feeling. It was amazing for my family and something that I will never forget”
Fellow Midfielder Kevin MacDonald knows that performances need to be replicated if they are to be promoted this season. Speaking to fulhamfc.com post match “the boys are over the moon in the dressing room, the amount of work we did in the 90 mins is something we need to do week in week out if we want to get promoted. It is the first game, we take the win now but the hard work starts Sunday when we are back in”
With Ross McCormack’s departure to Aston Villa last week, it could be a big season for Matt Smith. The former Oldham striker returned from injury in the summer and revealed that last season was “the worst of my career”. Speaking to fulhamfc.com “the lads were buzzing, we had a really productive pre season and felt we were in a real good place coming in”.
Smith’s first goal of the season was relief for the front man who is not getting carried away after scoring on the opening day last season. He praised the “self belief and confidence in the camp which helped us get over the line in the end”.
Andy Hessenthaler is expected to make changes tomorrow night with his squad still overcoming of the effects of an illness in pre season. Robbie Weir could be rested after coming off after an hour on Saturday. Callum Kennedy, Sammy Moore and Liam Kelly could all be handed starts on Tuesday while Tom Parkes will miss out after suffering a dislocated shoulder at Cheltenham with Nicky Hunt set to deputise at center half.
Speaking to East London Advertiser on Saturday, Hessenthaler stated “ I think Coxy is definitely coming into my thoughts for Tuesday, he is there now. He is fired up, his knee is ready and was desperate to get on at Cheltenham”. Cox is expected to start with Paul McCallum set to miss out with the forward “getting” closer according to Hessenthaler. While fellow forward Jay Simpson is set to be left out with his continued transfer speculation linking him with Southend.
Changes are expected to made by Slavisa Jokanovic who could hand a starting berth to Cauley Woodrow, Richard Stearman and Scott Parker.
Head to Head – Leyton Orient 34, Draw 27, Fulham 33
Last meeting – 08/01/2006 – Fulham 1-2 Leyton Orient
- It will be Orient’s first home game against Fulham in 19 years and the first meeting in 10 years
- Orient have won the last three game in cup competitions: 2-1 in FA Cup (2006), 1-0 in (1994) and 5-2 in (1994) both in the Auto Windscreens Shield
- Both teams have scored in three of the last four clashes
Prediction: Leyton Orient 1-2 Fulham