Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh insists his side will be taking the FA Trophy seriously ahead of their visit of Blyth Spartans. Orient have a three point lead at the top of the table but the 49 year old knows with his side only four games from Wembley, it is a competition they can win. Speaking to leytonorient.com “everyone knows since I have been here, I view it as a competition we feel we can get close to winning and that will reflect in the side I put out”.
- Sit 1st in National League
- Three wins in last five games
The O’s returned to winning ways last weekend with a 3-0 home victory over Maidstone United. Jordan Maguire-Drew grabbed his first for Orient before a brace for Macauley Bonne extended their lead at the top of the table. Edinburgh was delighted with the response of his side stating to leytonorient.com “it’s a good win off the back of a really good week on the training ground. We needed to rekindle that confidence in the group and it was the reaction we all wanted. It was a pleasing end to a good week”
Before last weekend’s win, Orient had only won two of their previous six but Edinburgh thought his side showed glimpses of returning to their old ways. Orient started slowly but grabbed the first goal and made it comfortable in the second half. Edinburgh stated to leytonorient.com “what was positive about us today was we played off the front foot and it was typified in our first goal. In the recent couple of weeks we might have taken a step back but we took a step forward and more often than not you get your rewards”.
Another pleasing aspect for the O’s last week was the defensive display which saw a 16th clean sheet for the season. With first choice center backs out injured, Daniel Happe partnered Jamie Turley who made his full debut and impressed on their first start as a partnership. Assistant coach Ross Embleton praised the performance of the defensive unit, speaking to the O’s Show “a clean sheet in their first partnered together. It was fantastic for the whole back four but for them two to come into the team and perform in the manner they did, very good”.
- Kept two clean sheets in their last three games
- Kept four clean sheets in last six games
- Kept five clean sheets in last seven home games
Orient have faced two different challenges in the Trophy and Saturday’s test against Blyth will be no different. The Spartans sit 33 league places below Orient and Edinburgh highlights that Alun Armstrong’s men will be looking to perform as the underdogs. Speaking to leytonorient.com “it is a home game and a game I feel we can win. We will come up against an opposition who will try and prove themselves. They come from a lower level but I will pick a team I feel than can go on and win the game”
- Home Record this Season – P17 W11 D4 L2 F33 A10
- Won five of the last six at home – F13 A4
- Only lost one of their last ten at home – W7 D2 L1
- Defeat – 05/01/2019 – Orient 0-3 Salford
Orient are expected to rotate their squad giving some minutes to players who have played much recently. Jordan Maguire-Drew made his full debut at Wrexham in Round Two and highlights the learning he can get from the senior players at the club. Maguire-Drew joined the club in January stated to leytonorient.com “the quality of player we’ve got is great. We’ve got a lot of leaders in there which is key, it’s a great blend of young and experienced players. It’s important for me to learn off the likes of Jobi (McAnuff), Matty (Harrold), Lawless”
- Failed to score in eight games this season – (four at home)
- Scored in three of their five games
- Scored in seven of their last nine home games
Josh Koroma, Marvin Ekpiteta, Josh Coulson and James Dayton all remain sidelined through injury. Matt Harrold, Alex Lawless, Dale Gorman, Myles Judd, James Alabi ae all expected to start on Saturday. Young defender Jayden Sweeney should be involved after playing in both Trophy games this season. Shadrach Ogie is available after gaining International clearance.
Head to Head
No previous meetings between sides
Last Time Out – 3-0 home win over Maidstone United
Prediction – Leyton Orient 2-1 Blyth Spartans