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Top Of The South Stand – ‘Tis the season to be hopeful

Gary Alexander, pictured during his spell at Leyton Orient in 2005, will return to Brisbane Road at the weekend with Crawley Town. Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images Gary Alexander, pictured during his spell at Leyton Orient in 2005, will return to Brisbane Road at the weekend with Crawley Town. Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images

By Tom Taylor, London24 Leyton Orient blogger
Thursday, December 19, 2013
5:10 PM

Leyton Orient blog: With one more game to go before the season reaches the busy festive period, the knowledge that regardless of Saturday’s result the O’s will be in the top two come Christmas is something quite remarkable.

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About our blogger

Name: Tom Taylor

Season ticket holder

Favourite player: Romain Vincelot

Most memorable game: Arsenal (Home) FA Cup 5th round 2010/11

Predicted finish: 12th

Even a late heartbreaker from Nahki Wells last weekend could not stop manager Russell Slade from continuing his enthusiastic praise of his well-gelled squad. And rightly so, sitting a point clear of Wolves and further of the rest, even the most optimistic Orient supporter would struggle to believe that this could happen.

There are still important games before the year is out as the east Londoners face awkward trips to Gillingham and the aforementioned Wolverhampton, but the foundations laid in this half of 2013 have given hope that 2014 can be an equally special year.

This Saturday sees the return of former Orient striker Gary Alexander back to Brisbane Road as Crawley Town make the short trip to London. Alexander was part of the promotion winning squad of 2005/6 season which is still fondly remembered by many supporters eight years on from that spectacular promotion day in May 2006.

Whilst dreams of promotion are still merely a fantasy, the hope that Slade’s men can continue their fine work from the first 20 league games in to the busy winter months ahead still burns strong.

Crawley will prove a stern test, with new manager John Gregory recently appointed at the helm. They showed great character to come back from two goals down to snatch a point against promotion chasing Preston North End in their last game.

They will undoubtedly be boosted by that result and will hope to claim a result in E10 like Preston and Sheffield United have done in previous weeks.

It is important from an Orient perspective that they keep their fine home record going. With big teams starting to find their form as they look to kick on in to the second half of the campaign, the east Londoners will need the Brisbane Road crowd and their form to stay consistently at a high level if they wish to keep up with the big guns for as long as possible.

Finally I would like to wish the readers of this blog a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. See you in 2014.

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