Leyton Orient v Brentford preview
Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade insists his side have prepared normally for their unusual League One encounter with Brentford at Brisbane Road this evening.
The television cameras have forced the game to take place two days early and Slade has never managed a team on a Thursday night before, but he has tried to keep their build-up to the clash as similar as possible to a typical week.
Slade said: “It’s an unusual night to play on. It’s the first one I’ve ever had but we’ve just tried to prepare as normally as we can for it. Our build-up has been the same as it would have been for a Saturday match and we want to treat it as a normal game.”
Both sides come into the contest off the back of weekend wins after the O’s upset Swindon Town and Brentford picked up a 1-0 victory over Colchester United.
The Bees have made a promising start to the campaign under former Manchester City striker Uwe Rosler and are currently seventh in the table.
The O’s are missing goalkeeper Jamie Jones and Scott Cuthbert through injury but David Mooney is available after recovering from a hamstring problem.
Slade said: “They have made a great start to the season and they’re our neighbours from across London. They have invested very heavily in the side and will be expecting to get a top-six finish.
“We want to do well in every match but playing one of our local rivals just adds a little spice for the supporters.
“I think defender Tony Craig returning also deserves a mention because he was fantastic in a loan spell for us last season.”
Leyton Orient have only played once at home this season, partly due to the postponement of the Hartlepool United match last month, and Slade is relishing the chance to get off the mark at Brisbane Road in front of their supporters.
He added: “We’re looking forward to getting home because we haven’t played many games there this season and it’s been a tough start.
“It’s only our second game at Brisbane Road and we’re looking forward to it. It’s always a better feeling when you go into a game off the back of a good win but we felt it had been coming.
“Getting a victory would give everyone a lift, not just the supporters but also the chairman and the players.
“It’s been a tough start but we would like to register something and get a first home win of the season.”
Slade, whose side also host Yeovil Town on Tuesday night, said: “It’s important now with these home games coming up that we’re nice and strong and that we get points.
“We’ve got some good players and it’s only now and over the next few weeks that the season will settle down a little bit but everybody will contribute because we play Thursday [tonight], next Tuesday and the games come thick and fast.
“It’s important the likes of Ryan Brunt and Moses Odubajo get some pitch time as well because they’re very much part of it.”