Speaking ahead of the Boxing Day clash – Embleton offered injury updates, spoke about respect of fellow young coach Mark Bonner, and outlined what The O’s need to do to get back on track.
The feeling after the Crawley game was similar to the one at Morecambe; there were periods in both games where we were clearly the better team, but we have to show more conviction and try and sustain things for a little bit longer, and not give out opportunities to the opposition to take the points.
It’s been a good opportunity to work on things, it’s been a good week, and Cambridge gives us the chance to get things back on track.
Mullin’s a player that obviously has to be respected. We didn’t give up many opportunity for Max Watters to score for Crawley, but it shows what happens when good players get in front of goal, they punish you.
Cambridge will always be a challenge, they’ll be committed, and will have good energy, as well as talented players, such as Mullin and Hoolahan.
My real focus though is that I feel we have let ourselves down in games, and that’s the area that we need to do better in.
Conor Wilkinson’s made his way back, and has completed some sessions.
We lost Hector Kyprianou after he came on at the weekend with a severe dead leg, so we’re hoping that improves by the time the game comes around.
Joe Widdowson and Dan Happe both didn’t feel particularly great at the beginning of the week – but were tested and came back negative. For obvious reasons though this means they missed some sessions.
So it was a bit disrupted, but we’ve got on with it, and have best prepared the team to right the wrongs from the last couple of games.
I think Mark’s done very well. I was fortunate enough to be at their game against Mansfield, and despite their defeat, I felt they were the better team.
He has a group of players that enjoy playing under him, which is a big part of the battle coming into your first role.
There’s a lot of similarities with myself, having spent a lot of time at the club before taking up the position he’s in now.
But he’s got them well organised, and they’ve recruited well and signed goalscorers – which gives them opportunities to win games.
He’s a guy I’ve got a lot of respect for, we’ve coached against each other for a long time so I want to see him continue to do well (although not on Boxing Day) , and fly the flag for young coaches and managers.
Our first thought is getting us back on track. I don’t think we’ve been miles away, but we haven’t been miles away all season.
That leads to a frustration, as we could and should have had more of the games we’ve played this season – and winning points breeds confidence.
We all know the Southend game is a big one for obvious reasons, and then so will the Salford game – thanks to our recent history, and the challenge they pose.
We’ll embrace both of those challenges when they come, but it starts before that at Cambridge.
Finally – I’d like to wish everyone associated with the club a Merry Christmas. Whilst it’s been a difficult year, we hope to see everyone again in the new year, and that everyone stays safe and well until that time.
Match passes for our Boxing Day clash with Cambridge United are on sale now – with kick-off set for 1pm.