Having now put the month of February behind us – and by a country mile our worst of the season – we are fast approaching the ‘business end’ of the campaign.
Championship, promotion, or relegation issues – though - are rarely resolved at this stage, but many will tell you that March is when the season really starts.
We must therefore be grateful that the O’s sit top of the tree – but for however long that lasts will depend on whether our closest rivals Wolves and Brentford slip up in the games they still have in hand.
Points on the board however are more important than fixtures still to be played. After all, you don’t want to be facing a fixture pile-up – just as we endured in the 2011 aborted play-off bid.
But, you can’t hide from the fact that either the Bees or Wolves might overtake us as the league leadership – certainly after we relinquished it close to Christmas – is taking on the resemblance of pass the parcel.
The league table to be quite honest is looking a total mess at the moment. Orient are one of few sides up-to-date with their fixtures. Other clubs, with Crawley for example now hovering around the dreaded drop zone, have an eye-watering backlog that could prove costly no matter what are their end of season aspirations.
As I have said in these notes before, the ball is firmly in our court and with two back-to-back wins in the last week, we are certainly keeping up the pressure in what is becoming a tight promotion race – just perm any two from three.
But, from these last two games, the Stevenage win was arguably the hardest of the pair. Even though they conceded a couple of sloppy goals, they did appear to have the players who could hurt you on their day – despite their lowly league position.
Swindon – conversely – were undoubtedly one of the poorest sides to have made the trip to Brisbane Road this season. Not only did they give away two ludicrous penalties, but their possession retention was nothing short of diabolical.
However, you can only beat what is put before you and the O’s have certainly turned the tables with seven points from the last nine available.
That is certainly promotion form and that continues our two points a game average – with Sheffield United the only side not to get promotion with 90 points in recent times, and having to suffer the play-offs lottery – should we manage to accrue such a stellar points total it could mean promotion.
With the visit of Colchester United this coming Saturday and with seemingly little to play for, the O’s will have another opportunity to get closer to the prime objective the play-offs and with a bit of luck, the Championship.
There will however be one Jabo Ibehre, if selected, who will certainly be wanting to prove a point. Jabo though was a most popular player during his long Orient career and I am sure the fans will give our former striker a warm welcome.
And, fair play to him for his longevity. We saw his star rising at the start of the noughties and 14 years later he is still playing professionally and scoring goals.
Keep the faith,
Up the O’s.