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FA Cup still important says Orient boss Slade

16:03 03 January 2014

Yeovil beat Orient on New Year's Day last year. Pic by Simon O'Connor

Yeovil beat Orient on New Year's Day last year. Pic by Simon O'Connor

2 BURNHAM RD CHINGFORD LONDON E4 8PE

Orient are taking the FA Cup seriously this season despite their lengthening injury list, according to boss Russell Slade.

The O’s are down to the bare bones but the manager believes getting past his former club Yeovil tomorrow will help carry momentum forward for the rest of the season.

“The league is the priority but both are important,” said Slade.

“As we’ve seen in the past, the cup is to get momentum for our league campaigns. It’s helped us before, like it did in 2011.

“We want to do well in the cup.”

The squad has been further depleted by the absences of key midfielder Romain Vincelot with a knee injury and forward Robbie Simpson with a hamstring strain.

Both could miss a couple of weeks and with Marvin Bartley ineligible due to the term of his loan deal from Burnley, coupled with more serious injuries for forwards David Mooney and Shaun Batt, it offers an opportunity to some youth team players who have been on the O’s bench recently.

Slade said: “Sam Ling, Alex Finney and Harry Lee are travelling with us again and it’s a chance for them to come in and show what they can do.”

Orient made their first signing of the transfer window earlier today with the capture of Jamie Ness on a 28-day loan from Stoke City.

Slade said of the 22-year-old: “He’s a midfielder with a good left foot.

“He’s got good peridgree from his time at Rangers and he’ll be a decent addition while we’re short on numbers.”

While the manager refused to confirm rumours about potential signings, he did admit Orient are focusing on bringing in another goalkeeper and a forward.

Jake Larkins, who has made just two professional appearances, is the only senior goalkeeper at the club.

First choice Jamie Jones could miss most of the rest of the season with a back problem.

Slade said: “We’re delighted with how Jake’s done so far, he’s been brilliant.

“But you can’t carry on with one senior goalkeeper. That’s unrealistic and we’re hoping to get another one in by next week.

“We’re working really hard to bring in new players to help out the squad.”

The 53-year-old returns to the club he managed for almost three full seasons from 2006 to 2009.

He took them to the League One play-off final in 2007, but says there will be no sentiment when his team takes to the field at Huish Park tomorrow.

Orient last visited Yeovil on New Year’s Day last year, losing 3-0 in a season which eventually ended in promotion for the Championship outfit.

“It’s human nature to want to put on a good performance at your former club, but I’m only thinking about Orient now.

“It was a long time ago and I’ve been at Orient almost four years now.”

Slade added that he’s looking to keep Bartley at Brisbane Road for the rest of the season if a deal can be sorted out with his parent club.

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