Leyton Orient Head Coach Ian Hendon is expecting a big response from his side against Portsmouth on Boxing Day after last weekend’s 1-1 draw with Yeovil Town.
The O’s put in a below-par first half performance against the Glovers before Jobi McAnuff salvaged a point for the hosts in the second period, and while the O’s will not be at full strength for the Boxing Day match, Hendon is keen for his side to raise their game for the visit of Pompey.
“This is not the first time we have been down to the bare bones due to injuries,” Hendon told leytonorient.com.
“We had it against Scunthorpe at home in the FA Cup and the players put in a sterling performance. Out of adversity sometimes you get good performances so I have no qualms with that and I am going to take last week as a blip. We’ve not played like that all season, especially the first half, and I am expecting a big response on Boxing Day.
“Portsmouth are a big Club with a big following and I am sure they will bring a few with them on Saturday. I actually played for them a long time ago when I had a loan spell there so they are a Club that I know and I am looking forward to coming up against them.”
The O’s have drawn their last four fixtures 1-1 and Hendon knows they have to turn the results around in order to rise back up into the Play-Offs.
“We’ve had a lot of draws this season in games that we should have won and if we had turned three of the draws into wins which I feel we could have quite easily done at the likes of Northampton and Cambridge, we would have another six points and be up in the Play-Offs,” he added.
“We haven’t done so however and yes we are a little bit off where we want to be, but as I have said previously I am confident that the results will turn and those draws will become wins and we will then start climbing back up the table.”
Injuries have mounted up with the likes of John Marquis, Blair Turgott and Lloyd James all doubts for Saturday’s game, though Hendon was pleased to reveal Jack Payne’s injury is not as bad as first feared.
“We are hopeful that we might get one or two players back over the Christmas period who are recovering quicker than we thought they would so there is a possibility now,” said the Head Coach. “Although we have said players are struggling and could be out, a couple of them have shown good signs over the last few days.
“We were worried for Jack initially as he has been a big player for us this season but fingers crossed he will recover much quicker than we all thought when it first happened.”