Leyton Orient midfielder Craig Clay is excited ahead of his side’s season opener at Salford City on Saturday. The O’s travel to North to face the Amnies and the 29 year old can’t wait to play in front of a crowd again. Speaking to leytonorient.com “we want to start the campaign right, I remember we played them two years ago, we got the late equaliser. To have them back, bringing the atmosphere back will make it feel real again”
It was a summer of change in E10 with the East Londoners appointing former Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett as First Team Manager. The 59 year has enjoyed the pre season work but can’t wait to finally get back to League action. Speaking to leytonorient.com “we are looking forward to it, we have worked hard but now the real stuff starts it’s a new season and a big challenge”.
After being sacked in March, Jackett revealed he analyzed a lot of League Two towards the back of last season after last managing at this level back in 2005. With supporters now allowed back in stadiums the former Wolves manager is keen to build a relationship with the supporters. Speaking to leytonorient.com “we can’t stress enough what they really do. We want to build a really good bond between the players and supporters. That’s comes with performances, effort, cohesion and ultimately results on the pitch”.
Clay signed a new two deal in the summer begins his fifth season at the Breyer Group stadium. With eight incomings and 13 outgoings the former Grimsby man highlighted the importance of pre season and creating togetherness in the group. Speaking to leytonorient.com “it’s been really good, everyone gets on with everyone. We’ve had a few team bonding meals. It’s the first step to having a good bond which can help take you places”.
After Salford, the O’s have three consecutive home matches with Jackett keen to gain momentum at the start of the season. The 59 year old acknowledge that his side have a tough start to the campaign but it will provide a good assessment to where his side are. Speaking to leytonorient.com “by the end of September, we will have a good idea where we are. We have a wide range of games with some tough away games, with sides that are favourties and spent a lot of money. It will give us a really good idea of where we are in the division and we are really looking forward to it”.
Orient look set to a hand debut to new Club Captain Darren Pratley while defenders Tom James, Connor Wood and Omar Beckles are are also set to start. New strikers Aaron Drinan and Paul Smyth should have overcome knocks to be involved but Harry Smith and Adam Thompson are sidelined through injury. Winger Theo Archibald could start alongside Dan Kemp in attack.
Head to Head
Prediction – Salford 1-1 Leyton Orient