Leyton Orient assistant coach Ross Embleton insists his side must stay focused as they head to neighbours Dagenham & Redbridge on Boxing Day. The O’s moved four points clear at the top of the National League on Saturday but Embleton knows it is important to stay grounded despite sitting top. Speaking to East London Advertiser “we have given ourselves a really good opportunity and if we continue to work hard and do things right and keep our focus on not getting carried away then we have a good chance of doing it but there is such a long way to go”.
- Sit 1st on 53 points – Four clear of Salford
- Won six of their last eight in all competitions
- Lost just one of their last ten – W7 D2 L1
- League Record – P25 W15 D8 L2 F47 A15
Orient returned to winning ways in the National League with a 3-1 home win over Chesterfield. Josh Koroma opened the scoring before Alex Kiwonya levelled but second half goals from Marvin Ekipeta and MacAuley Bonne saw Orient take full advantage of their rivals dropping points. Embleton acknowledged to leytonorient.com that the gap was nice but he wants to keep extending it “the most important thing off the back of that is we don’t take it for granted. We have to make sure we continue to strive to make the gap bigger”.
Defender Marin Ekpiteta grabbed his fourth of the season on Saturday and highlighted it was important to return to winning ways. The young defender gave the O’s the initiative in the second period and despite being level at the break, the 23 year old was confident his side would pick up the win. Speaking to leytonorient.com “we knew we had to keep going, we played well and battled well. The second half we knew they would blow up nd eventually and we would get our goals”.
- Failed to score in four league games
- Scored in three of their last four games
- Netted two or more in six of their last eight games and five of their last seven away games
- 30/47 league goals scored in second half (only Harrogate 33 have scored more)
- 22 after the 60th minute
- 12 of their last 14 have been in second half
Midfielder Charlie Lee returned to action after seven weeks out injured and helped Orient deal with the physical threat of Chesterfield. The O’s conceded only their 15th goals in 25 league games on Saturday and Embleton admitted his side have learnt how to deal with the physicality of the league. Speaking to leytonorient.com “we never want to concede, something we work on a lot. The boys have really improved with what the league throws at you. It’s disappointing for us but overall we dealt quite well”.
- Second best defensive record in league
- Kept 11 league clean sheets (four away)
- Kept four in their last six games – conceding just two goals
- Kept just one in their last three games
- Kept one in their last four away league games
- Kept three in their last seven league games
Defender Sam Ling will make his first return to Victoria road after his move to the O’s back in February. The 22 year old spent 19 months with Daggers before rejoining the Orient and admits that after Dagenham’s upturn in form it will be a testing clash on Boxing Day. Speaking to East London Advertiser “it will be a tough game and they’ve been in good form. At the start of the season they were struggling but they’ve done well since the takeover went through. They’ve hit some really good form of late and they have some very good players, so I can’t wait to play against them”.
- Away League Record – P12 W7 D4 L1 F22 A8
- Best Record in League – scored joint most, conceded joint fewest
- Only lost one of their last four – W2 D1 L1
- Only lost one of their last 13 away league games – W8 D4 L1
- Five of their seven away wins have been by two or more goals
Orient play the Daggers twice over Christmas with the return leg at Brisbane Road on New Years Day and Embleton admits his side have a tendency on facing sides who are in good form. After a poor start to the season, Dagenham are the inform side in the league alongside the O’s. Speaking to leytonorient.com Embleton stated “Dagenham’s start to the season has given people a different impression of what they are about and capable of. They have made some good signings themselves. Balanta has gone in and made a real impact. They are a different proposition to what everybody expect to see after their start”
- 12 of their 15 wins have been by two or more goals
- Unbeaten against bottom half teams – P12 W9 D3 F27 A6
With Wrexham hosting Salford on Boxing Day, a win could see Orient extend their lead at the top. The O’s have a great record against the Daggers in recent history and Ling admits his side may have to be patient to get the three points. Speaking to East London Advertiser “every game is tough and it’s just down to the boys. We know what we can do. We know even if we have a sticky period, as long as we stick at it we can get three points and get a lot of goals”.
Josh Coulson should overcome a knock he picked up in the victory over Chesterfield. Charlie Lee is set to continue in midfield alongside Craig Clay. James Dayton, Charlie Grainger and Myles Judd remain sidelined through injury.
Head to Head – Leyton Orient 8, Draw 4, Dagenham 5
- Orient are unbeaten in the last 11 meetings (90 minutes only) – W6 D5
- Three of the last five meetings at Victoria Road have ended in draws
- Both games at Victoria Road last season ended 0-0
- Orient have kept four consecutive clean sheets against Dagenham
- Orient’s last defeat – Dagenham 2-0 Orient, 4/9/2010
Last Time Out – 3-1 vs Chesterfield
Prediction – Dagenham 1-1 Leyton Orient