Bradley Pritchard has welcomed the O’s unexpected break this weekend after a demanding run of games during the first month of the season.
Orient have played six of their first eight matches away from home and this has included lengthy trips to Plymouth Argyle, Oldham Athletic and Fleetwood Town.
Russell Slade’s side are not in action this weekend, after international call-ups for Preston North End forced the late postponement of their trip to Brisbane Road. It means the O’s have plenty of time to prepare for their next match at home to rivals Colchester United on Saturday, September 13.
The former Charlton Athletic midfielder said: “It is a welcome break. It’s been a tough month. I’ve never known a schedule like it. We’ve done a lot of travelling with Plymouth and Bristol City away and Fleetwood last Saturday so it’s been really tough. We’ve worked together to try and get as much as we can out of the fixtures but I think definitely we needed a break.”
Pritchard got off the mark for his new club on Tuesday when he scored in their win at Peterborough United, although he admitted he was uncertain about the exact nature of his role in the third goal.
He said: “I’m happy I’ve finally scored actually. It was a great ball down the right from Chris Dagnall and I managed to get in front of my man but it happened so quickly I wasn’t sure if I got a touch. I just tried to run off and look as confident as possible that I touched it!”
The former performance analyst has already been used in several positions across the midfield for the O’s and slotted in on the right-hand side at London Road. Pritchard insists his teammates have made adapting to different roles in the side a much smoother prospect.
The 28-year-old said: “It’s actually a lot easier with the players that we have in the midfield and up front. There is a lot of selfless work being done which makes it easier for players to adapt and fit into different positions.
“If I’m going to play wide or in the middle it’s easy, because the guys around help you to adjust. It’s definitely a real team ethic that you can see because different players are playing and we still managed to get the results. It certainly shows that there is a real good work ethic from every single person irrespective of who plays.”
Pritchard was impressed with the impact of Dagnall in their latest cup victory and believes the squad’s strikers have different qualities which will ensure Orient are unpredictable to play against.
The versatile midfielder said: “He’s [Dagnall] very sharp and again you look at all our forwards and there’s something slightly different that they bring. I think that’s really important because teams will set up in certain ways to combat the way we play, so to have Dags, Darius Henderson, Kevin Lisbie, David Mooney and Jay Simpson, you have guys with different abilities and ways of affecting the opposition we play.”
The ambition of the club helped convince Pritchard to join the O’s this summer and he believes everyone is fully focused on helping push the club on towards the goal of promotion this season.
“It’s not just my ambition,” he said. “It’s every single player’s ambition in there, including the management. It’s all our ambition and this mutual desire to achieve something is definitely paying off. The boys are buying into it and we’re all working hard to try and achieve that so it’s not just mine. It’s everyone’s.”