O's Head Coach previews Hatters trip and transfer deadline dayOrient Head Coach Ian Hendon will make changes to his side ahead of the trip to League Two rivals Luton Town in the first round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy (Southern Section) tomorrow.
Goalkeeper Alex Cisak is away on international duty, so Gary Woods and Charlie Grainger are vying for the starting spot, while captain Mathieu Baudry hobbled off with an injury and a few other minor niggles were picked up in the 2-0 win over Bristol Rovers at the weekend.
And while admitting there will be changes, Hendon believes it is a chance for those players coming in to the side to make an impression before Saturday’s trip to Exeter City.
“It is a test of the small squad. In total we have used 15 players so far in both competitions we have played in, so we are fully stretched,” Hendon told leytonorient.com
“We have picked up a couple of knocks at the weekend and we don’t want to make them any worse with Saturday coming up, so there will be a few changes. That gives some of the other players a chance to go and show what they are about.”
And despite the changes, Hendon is keen for the O’s to extend their unbeaten run after Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Bristol Rovers.
“Confidence is high and it would be nice to carry that on,” he added. “We are enjoying the football and looking forward to every game.
“I thought we played well as a team on Saturday. Defensively we were sounder than we had been in recent games which was pleasing and along with the penalty it was a good second goal. We possibly could have run out more convincing winners in the end as well.”
The Hatters have not enjoyed the best of starts to the League Two season, and currently sit in 22nd after Saturday’s 2-1 home loss to Portsmouth.
However, Hendon knows John Still’s side have plenty of ability in their side – having forced Premier League side Stoke City to a penalty shoot-out in the Capital One Cup last Tuesday.
“John has got a big squad there and he is trying to find his best formula at the minute, and they will be looking at this game to get their season back on track,” he said.
“That will only be a matter of time. John has been in the game a long time and they will be strong, well organised and competitive. I guarantee they will pick up and they will be one of the teams up there challenging come the end of the season.”
The transfer window closes at 6pm tomorrow, and the Head Coach was optimistic of adding to the squad before the deadline.
“I hope so. It is awkward with the game tomorrow as well,” added Hendon. “We have got a couple of things we are trying to do, but it is probably more down the loan route than anything else.
“Hopefully we can get it done but if it doesn’t happen tomorrow then the loan window opens up again in a week so we could pursue it then.”