Former O Alexander tips Leyton Orient for promotion - but hopes it’s not at Crawley’s expense!
- Credit: EMPICS Sport
Former Leyton Orient striker Gary Alexander believes the O’s can push on with their great start to the season and achieve promotion into the Championship.
Orient had their best start to a campaign this season, breaking their previous records with eight wins out of their first eight games.
The O’s were also unbeaten after 12 games, partnering fellow London club QPR as the only two unbeaten Football League sides in England.
And it’s this scintillating start which is making Alexander feel as though his former team have a great chance for promotion.
“I keep an eye out for all my old clubs and obviously it’s difficult not to see that Orient are absolutely flying,” said Alexander.
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“It’s been a fantastic campaign so far for them, and with the start they’ve had and the front two scoring plenty of goals I believe they can get promoted.
“It would be great for Barry Hearn, who’s stuck by the club for years and years as well for the fans and the club if they did manage to go up this season.”
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During his four year and half year spell in East London, Alexander notched 52 goals for The O’s and has been impressed with former strike partner Kevin Lisbie this season.
The 35-year-old has been in great form for the Brisbane Road side this season and is their leading goal scorer with 12 goals in all competitions.
“I played with him for a couple of months at Milwall and I could tell he was a good player,” he added.
“He’s been getting the service, and he’s been taking his chances when they’ve come his way, so fair play to him.
“With every goal he’s gaining in confidence and that obviously helps when you’re a striker.”
Alexander was also part of the Leyton Orient team that gained promotion in the 2005/06 season, and knows the importance of team spirit within a football club.
“I loved my time at Orient, we won promotion together and we had a great team spirit the year we went up and that is half the battle,” he said.
“Obviously there are clubs in the league with bigger budgets but they’ve come into this season on a high following their great run towards the end of last season.
“Credit it to Russell Slade, they’ve obviously got a good team spirit, and a good bunch of lads that believe in themselves.
“If you’re winning games, like I said about Kevin Lisbie, it brings confidence and they go onto the pitch expecting to win which is a great feeling to have.
“They seem to keep winning and when they do have a blip they respond well and that’s the sign of a good side.”
Since leaving the O’s in 2007, Alexander played for Championship side Millwall, and fellow League One sides, Brentford and his current club Crawley Town.
“I’m loving football at the moment. Admittedly I’m in the latter stages of my career but I’ve enjoyed it over the years,” added Alexander.
“As a kid, if someone had said you’re going to be a professional footballer playing for 17 years I would’ve bitten their hand off and it’s happened so I can’t complain.”
And he holds Orient in high regard amongst the clubs he has played for.
“I’ve played for some fantastic clubs along the way, including Leyton Orient and I’ve loved every minute of it,” he remarked.
“I had a good time whilst I was there and I made a few friends amongst the players and the staff whom I still keep in touch with.
“Like I’ve said, it would be fantastic for the club to get promoted just as long as it’s second behind Crawley.”