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Rotherham will provide physical test says Orient boss Slade

Kevin Lisbie scored the winner when the sides met back in October. Simon O'Connor Kevin Lisbie scored the winner when the sides met back in October. Simon O'Connor

Saturday, February 1, 2014
9:00 AM

»Orient take their superb away record to Rotherham United on Saturday hoping to keep up the pressure on Brentford at the top of League One.

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The O’s have lost once on the road in the league this season – at Coventry in October – but manager Russell Slade is under no illusion about the challenge the Millers will pose.

He said: “Rotherham will be tough. They’re very physical, they’re in your face and they work exceptionally hard.”

The South Yorkshire side are enjoying a decent return to League One after last season’s promotion.

They currently sit fifth in the table and have only lost three league games at the New York Stadium this term.

Orient midfielder Lloyd James played under Rotherham manager Steve Evans during a loan spell at Crawley and he’s expecting a battle – but it’s one the O’s will be up for.

“They’re a very strong side and it will be a different type of game to the one against Coventry,” he said.

“But we’re capable of winning different types of games and I’m looking forward to it.

“It’s four wins in a row now, we’re building a little run, but we can’t get too carried away.”

The corresponding fixture in October ended in a 1-0 victory for Orient with Kevin Lisbie grabbing the winner.

Slade will be faced with a selection dilemma on Saturday as his squad is almost back to full strength.

Top scorer David Mooney returned with a goal against Coventry, while there was a place on the bench for Marvin Bartley.

Goalkeeper Jamie Jones and forward Shaun Batt, who are long-term absentees, are the only players still on the treatment table.

It is a dilemma he is relishing: “Sometimes you need different ways to undo teams.

“Sometimes making a substitution or changing your strike-force might be the answer, or it might be the midfield you have to change.

“I have the ability to do that with what we’ve got on the bench and it’s brilliant to have Jamie Ness for the rest of the season.”

It’s starting to look like a three horse race at the top of League One, with Brentford, Orient and Wolves opening up a nine-point gap on the chasing pack.

But Slade refuses to look at what other teams are doing, claiming ‘you can only control the controllables’.

“What’s the point in worrying about something you can’t control? We’ve put ourselves in a great position and just need to carry it on.”

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