M’Poku believes Orient can make the top six

On-loan Spurs starlet targets play-off push.

PAUL-JOSE M’POKU is convinced Leyton Orient can reach the League One play-offs, after their draw with Bournemouth and mid-week win over Swindon extended the O’s unbeaten run to nine matches.

Since being humbled 5-0 by league leaders Brighton on New Year’s Day, Russell Slade’s men have notched up five wins and four draws, including away victories at Championship high-flyers Norwich and Swansea in the FA Cup.

The 18-year-old feels recent results show how far the O’s have progressed this season and the young midfielder expects them to mount a surprise promotion push and finish inside the top six.

“I think we can get to the play-offs,” he said confidently.

“I think we can go into the top 10 really easily with the team that we’ve got and I think with the quality of player that we’ve got in the group, I think we can go even higher.

“It’s up to us now to keep working hard and keep doing what the manager tells us and to keep our focus and our motivation and the spirit that we have.

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“We’ve been working so hard in training and we’ve shown how far we’ve come.

“Before, we lost 5-0 against Brighton, but now, against big teams like Swansea and Norwich and again against Bournemouth, we’re winning or at least gaining something and not going back home with nothing. That’s how far we’ve come and we have to keep going like that.

“The manager says never give up and that’s one of the things I have learned, you never give up, you keep going. I always felt today (v Bournemouth) we could have got something, and I think we deserved that point.”

The Belgian midfielder, who has scored twice in 20 appearances since arriving on loan at Brisbane Road, was given a free role behind lone-striker Jonathan Tehoue in the 1-1 draw at Dean Court.

But while M’Poku would prefer to play on the wing, he is grateful for the first team experience on offer to him at Brisbane Road.

“I enjoy playing in the free role. I can keep the ball and with my ability I can make something happen. I can shoot or try and play a through ball and I really did enjoy the position the manager put me in today (Saturday),” he said.

“Obviously, my best position is on the left, but if the manager wants me to play on the right or in with the striker I will do it. Whatever the manager tells me to do I have to do my best.

“The main thing is playing the games, getting the experience, learning from it and then I’ll go back to Tottenham and show them what I’ve been doing at Orient.”

M’Poku missed last night’s (Tuesday) game against Swindon Town, because of international duty with Belgium.

“But I will be back for Bristol Rovers on Saturday,” he said.