A big week for Orient skipper Dawson

The next few days could have a massive bearing on the club’s season

Skipper Stephen Dawson believes the next week will have a massive bearing on Orient’s season.

The O’s entertain Rochdale on Saturday, then travel to Colchester on Tuesday night, before making the short trip to Dagenham & Redbridge the following weekend for an FA Cup clash.

“There’s no doubt about it, it’s going to be a massive week for us,” said Dawson, who was back on the bench for last weekend’s game at Swindon after missing the win against Hartlepool because of illness and injury.

The O’s have lost just one of their last six league games, but slipped back into the bottom four last weekend following a 2-2 draw at Swindon and Dawson admitted: “It’s so tight at the moment and although we’re on a decent run, we have not been able to pull clear of the bottom four.

“Now we have got two league games in quick succession and a couple of decent results would see us go flying up the table.

“We have got to be looking for four points from the games against Rochdale and Colchester and then look to make progress in the Cup. We certainly owe Daggers one.

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“When we lost there earlier in the season it was one of the few games where we didn’t perform.

“We took a lot of fans, had great support and they were right to be angry after the game because it was our worst performance of the season.

“Playing in the FA Cup will be a good distraction. It will take our minds off the league and it gives us a chance to push on.”

Before Orient switch their attention to the derby duel at Dagenham, they will be focussing on the clash with Rochdale, who have made an impressive start after winning promotion last season and Dawson is keen to try and win his place back for the showdown.

“I picked up a groin problem at Sheffield Wednesday and have had a virus, but I’m back in training and want to get back in. But the lads are playing well, so it won’t be easy,” he said.

It’s almost certain that boss Russell Slade will restore his skipper to the starting line-up on Saturday, but may have to decide between Jamie Jones, who is nearing fitness following a groin injury, and Lee Butcher, who has done little wrong since deputising in goal.