Crawley v Leyton Orient preview

Russell Slade expects a tough test at Crawley: Simon O'Connor

Russell Slade expects a tough test at Crawley: Simon O'Connor

First published in Latest Sport by

Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade is expecting another tight match when they travel to Crawley tomorrow in the first of two games in four days for the O’s.

Orient lost 3-2 when the sides met earlier in the season, and will play the Red Devils before returning to Brisbane Road for another stern test against Wolves on Monday.

The O’s have a great record away from home this season, with just two losses from 21 games so far.

And Slade is hoping they can emulate their performance from the emphatic 5-1 rout against Gillingham on Saturday.

Slade said: “We’re expecting a very tough game, they’re difficult opposition as though they don’t score many goals, they don’t concede many either. 

“It’s going to be a very tight game I feel, but we’re hoping to keep up our good form away from home.

“We’ll approach it like every other away game, and having broken a club record with 11 wins already this season, we’re not doing too much wrong away from home.”

Despite Orient’s dominant performance on Saturday bearing comparison with their blistering early season form, the O’s boss admits his side have been experiencing a dip in form over recent weeks.

The O’s hadn’t won in five games prior to the match against Gillingham, with their last win coming in a 2-0 defeat of Port Vale just under a month ago.

But Slade is pleased to see a number of key players returning to the first team, and is confident they can build upon their most recent victory.

He said: “Our momentum has been fairly good all season, but inevitably you’re going to struggle at times, and that’s what happened to us in the last few weeks.

“From time to time over the season, we’ve had various problems with injuries, and as with any small squad, ourselves included, it’s going to be problematic."

The O's boss added: “Having said that, we’ve overcome them and it’s great to have our big performers back to full fitness and playing in the team.

“We were fantastic against Gillingham, and we want to replicate that performance in our upcoming games."

Whilst automatic promotion is still not out of the question for Orient, Slade has admitted it is an unrealistic possibility.

In spite of this, he has insisted that more focus should be paid to Orient’s achievement of securing the play-offs with six games remaining.

Slade said: "Many people would have thought, with a couple of injuries, we would have dropped out of the play-offs by now.

“But when you look at where we are now and the fact that we have secured the play-offs with six games remaining, it is a monumental achievement for our club."

The O's should have a full squad to choose from with the exception of midfielder Marvin Bartley as he remains out with a hamstring injury. 

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