Following a comfortable 2-0 win over AFC Wimbledon in the EFL Trophy, the O’s will look to right the wrongs from their previous league defeat to Cheltenham with a victory over Barrow on Saturday.
Prior to welcoming Cheltenham to The Breyer Group Stadium, Ross Embleton’s men had little time to prepare for the tie – after spending the majority of the build-up in isolation. The O’s suffered a 2-0 defeat but recently managed to bounce back with a victory over AFC Wimbledon.
Orient will now look to build upon this new-found confidence, as Orient make the 327-mile trip to the north west to take on Barrow.
Barrow have certainly made a name for themselves within recent times, as they managed to mark an end to their 48-year hiatus from the Football League with promotion last season.
As the Bluebirds made the vertical leap to League Two, they had an early stumbling block, saying goodbye to manager Ian Evatt, who joined Bolton Wanderers.
Newly appointed David Dunn has made every effort to strengthen the squad, however, welcoming ten players to Holker Street.
These additions range from former Premier League and Championship youth players, to veterans with proven pedigree in the Football League. Mike Jones, who joined on a free transfer from Carlisle United, has already made an impact in the north west.
The 33-year-old midfielder has impressed both offensively and defensively during his very brief stint as a Bluebird. In an attacking sense, the battling midfielder helped salvage a draw against Colchester United with a long-distance effort – which helped earn Jones the Man of the Match award.
On the other hand, Barrow’s key man has also proven himself as a defensive rock so far this campaign, by making an average of 2.5 tackles and 1.8 interceptions per game, according to WhoScored.
Barrow’s other threats include Dior Angus and Scott Quigley, as the forward pair are synonymous with regular shots on goal, with the latter averaging as many as 4.5 shots per game.
The Bluebirds are currently one of five remaining teams in the division who are yet to taste a league victory, as they currently occupy the 21st position in the table.
Their last encounter came against Leeds United in the EFL Trophy, which resulted in 2-2 draw. The Bluebirds fought from two goals down to salvage a result and then eventually won the penalty shootout to gain a bonus point.
FROM THE DUGOUT
Both Leyton Orient and Ross Embleton are very familiar with Barrow, following the club’s two-year stint in the National League.
“We had a memorable game in terms of going there on a Tuesday night. I suppose it was like that phrase, ‘can you do it on a cold Tuesday night in Barrow’, and that’s exactly what that was,” Embleton shared in his pre-match interview.
“We turned up for a big chunk of that game and were comfortable at 3-0. Then the game turned on its head and we were fortunate to hang on to a 3-2 win.
“It’s a big game to look back on, as it helped us on our way to winning the league.”
Ross later added: “I have huge admiration for the fact that Barrow have managed to work their way out of the National League. Actually, the year we beat them 3-2, myself and Joe Austin, the club analyst, we actually said that they were going to be a real threat last year.”
Ahead of the O’s long trip up to the north west, Embleton discusses the expectations the coaching staff has prior to the game.
“We’re looking forward to it. We’ve obviously identified our strengths and weaknesses and how we can hurt Barrow at the weekend, and I’ll expecting us to go there full of confidence and ready to go and get three points.”
Despite netting his first goal of the season against AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday night, Lee Angol hobbled off with a hamstring injury. Embleton confirmed that Angol has had a scan and the striker himself admitted that the damage to his hamstring isn’t as severe as the injury he sustained last season, though he won’t feature for at least a couple of weeks.
HOW TO FOLLOW
To make sure you don’t miss any of the action from Orient’s away trip to Barrow, Orient TV Passes are available for purchase on the club website.
Orient Live is the new and only way to watch the O’s both home and away, with the new streaming service providing analysis and exclusive interviews prior to kick-off, at half-time, and following the final whistle.