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Returning Orient striker Mooney targets automatic promotion

13:00 31 January 2014

David Mooney celebrates his goal against Coventry on his return to the Orient side. Simon O'Connor

David Mooney celebrates his goal against Coventry on his return to the Orient side. Simon O'Connor

Archant

Orient top scorer David Mooney is back, fit and raring to fire the O’s to promotion.

The Irishman scored four minutes into his comeback against Coventry on Tuesday - his 16th goal of the season in all competitions.

And he says everyone at the club is relishing the prospect of trips to the Championship big boys should the O’s clinch promotion.

Mooney said: “Everyone at the club deserves those big away days against Leeds or whoever it might be.

“It could even be West Ham next season. We’ve all got to pull together - the crowd, the team and the staff - to get over that final hurdle.

“We’ve haven’t really talked about automatic promotion, but you’d prefer that to the play-offs. Ask Brentford how they feel.

“It’s beginning to look like it’s between the top three, and we’re up there for a reason. Hopefully we can be one of the top two.”

The 29-year-old returned after almost two months out with a combination of suspension and a foot injury sustained in training.

Mooney says it’s the worst he’s suffered in his whole career, but praised the Orient medical team and specialists for getting him back ‘way ahead of schedule.’

So what did it feel like to score with his first touch at Brisbane Road against the Sky Blues?

Mooney said: “To come on and score was fantastic and for us to get the win.

“I felt like I couldn’t catch up with the pace of the game so I just hit it and luckily it trickled in.

“It’s a massive boost for me. It’s been a hard eight weeks but it’s behind me now.”

The striker has come back to a vastly different squad to the one he was involved in during his last start, against Walsall in the FA Cup on December 7.

Orient have signed Chris Dagnall, as well as youngsters Jamar Loza and Shaquile Coulthirst on loan from Norwich and Spurs.

Added to Kevin Lisbie, Robbie Simpson, Yohann Lasimant and with Shaun Batt to return, it’s an area of the pitch they’re starting to look well stacked in.

Mooney said: “There’s a lot of options now.

“There’s a lot of competition for places, we all need to keep scoring and pushing each other on.”

The striker is in the form of his life this season. He’s already beaten his single season record goals tally in English football, despite his injury lay-off.

So is there a secret to his purple patch?

“We’ve got good players and I’m comfortable here,” said Mooney. “Everyone knows how everyone plays. We have that continuity from last year.

“This year I’ve carried it on, Lis has done the same, Coxy’s well into double figures and Mo’s on his way as well.

“It’s all credit to the manager. He’s brought in players who are humble, want to do well and without egos.”

Ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Rotherham, he is expecting a ‘tough, physical test.’

“We’ve got to deal with that then hopefully our quality will shine through,” Mooney added.

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