O's manager previews his first ever FA Cup tieO’s boss Alberto Cavasin hopes a good with the squad on the training pitch will pay dividends at Sheffield United in the FA Cup First Round on Sunday.
The Italian saw his side lose 2-0 at home to Crewe last weekend, and while disappointed with their showing has been pleased by the response in training ahead of the Cup clash against the Blades.
“It was a match where we didn’t show our true value,” he told leytonorient.com.
“We started quite well and looked very positive inside the opening 20 minutes, but after that Crewe came out and scored their goals from two problematic situations for us. In the second half we didn’t manage to react the way we should have following the restart.
“We have worked very hard this week and I believe we have made some steps forward. The team have worked very well in all of the sessions and Sunday will allow us to show our abilities on the pitch.”
Sunday’s encounter represents Cavasin’s first FA Cup experience, and the 60-year-old is looking forward to pitting his wits against the in-form Blades, who last lost in League One back on August 20 at Millwall.
“It is a very prestigious and important competition,” he added.
“The best teams in English football participate in this cup and we enter at the earliest stage. We are coming up against a very strong team in Sheffield United who have a rich history and a great quality.”
The O’s trip to Bramall Lane is swiftly followed by a Checkatrade Trophy encounter at Brighton & Hove Albion, and Cavasin will field his strongest possible side for the FA Cup encounter, before making the maximum number of changes in midweek.
“With the match being played on Sunday it presents us with two close fixtures with the trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on Tuesday,” he remarked.
“We are certainly taking the competitions seriously and against Sheffield United we will start with the strongest possible line-up. However, on Tuesday besides following the rule of five players having to start from the previous fixture, we will definitely be fielding six new players against Brighton.”
Cavasin is hoping to have striker Paul McCallum and defender Aron Pollock available this weekend having returned to training this week, but believes Yvan Erichot is a little further behind in his recovery.
“Paul trained with the squad for the first time this morning following his injury, whilst Aron returned to training yesterday. If there is no reaction to either player from now to Sunday both are likely to be involved in the squad this weekend.
“Meanwhile, Yvan is still recovering however and will be out most certainly for the games against Sheffield United and Brighton.”