Orient manager looks ahead to the two Easter fixtures, gives an update on injuries and says what's needed to make the play-offs
ORIENT manager Russell Slade believes his side will need to win five of their last six games if they are to end the season with a place in the play-off positions.
The O’s have been in formidable form recently having not lost in their last seven league games and sit top of the League One form table.
With two fixtures over the Easter period against teams at the wrong end of the League One table (Scunthorpe and Bury on Monday), the O’s have an excellent opportunity to get right in amongst the promotion mix-up for the final four games.
However, Slade is also warning his players that the table and positions count for little in terms of the difficulty of the opposition at this stage of the season
He said: “We’re running out of games, we’ve only got six games left and realistically we need to win five of those if we want to make the play-offs.
“I think Scunthorpe will be a really difficult game. Every report on them has been good and their position in the table is a false one in my opinion. They are a good footballing side, with some good players and they can score goals.
“Probably their problem is that they concede too many goals from time to time but Brian Laws is an experienced manager and he’ll be desperate to get those points necessary to get them out of trouble. There are no easy games in this division.”
Despite being far from their best last weekend against Preston, the O’s came away with a point and a clean sheet, something which pleased the manager.
“We’re defending well at the moment and that was the case on Saturday at Preston, our defenders and goalkeeper were excellent for us and enabled us to get a clean sheet,” he said.
“We have been scoring goals but it’s all about doing it right at both ends really and we’ve done that by and large over the last seven games.”
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the draw at Deepdale was losing defender Scott Cuthbert for the rest of the season with a fractured metatarsal, yet Slade was impressed with the contribution of Elliot Omozusi who came in for Cuthbert and may now have a big role to play in the run-in.
“Elliot has been around the place for a while and for him to come in and do what he did for us last Saturday was excellent. Mathieu Baudry is getting slowly closer to fitness too, there is a possibility for him to play on Friday and if not Friday then perhaps Monday,” said Slade.
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