Orient U18 skipper Charley Barker is relishing the challenge the O’s will face tonight when they take on Leicester City in the Third Round of the FA Youth Cup at the King Power Stadium.
Barker made his long-awaited return from a stress fracture in the lower back as a second half substitute in the 3-2 win over MK Dons on Saturday, playing a part in two goals as they come from 2-1 behind to secure all three points.
The captain was pleased to be back, and hopes to play some part tonight as the O’s hope to book a fourth round tie at home to either Carlisle United or Barnsley.
“It was good to be back out there with the lads and to contribute with two goals was really good,” he told leytonorient.com.
“Mentally it has been tough especially seeing the boys do so well and knowing you have not been a part of it.
“But there’s no better feeling then being back in the squad and helping the team win the game.
“Josh Birtwistle, Michael Amoah and Peter Webb have played a big part and even Thommo and Omer mentally keeping me on the right track, focused and gearing me towards getting back.
“I was so thankful for them on Saturday when I came on I was slightly nervous, but they relaxed me and got me through it.”
The win at the weekend made it 20 games unbeaten for the young O’s and while Barker admits confidence is high in the camp, he feels there is no room for complacency ahead of tonight’s cup tie.
“Everyone is buzzing and confident,” he added. “It will be a great day and to play at the King Power will be an experience. We will keep playing the way we have been and we are all motivated for the night.
“We are full of confidence but there is no complacency. We know we have a job to do and it will be a hard one.
“It is just trying to perfect what we have been doing over the past few weeks even better then what we have been doing. It will be a different challenge to what we are used to.
“We have known we are coming up for some time and everything has been geared towards Leicester. Whatever is put in front of us we are going to have to beat. You can have the best preparation but it is all about how you perform on the night.”