McSweeney insists that Orient can still make the play-offs

“When you look at the teams around us there is nothing to fear”

Orient find themselves 10 points off the play-off places, but defender Leon McSweeney believes the side can still reach the top six.

“I don’t think we’re out of it,” insisted the former Hartlepool man.

“I think anyone who puts a run together can do it - but I mean a winning run - you have to win a minimum of five games in a row to make proper inroads,” he said.

“But when you look at the teams around us there is nothing to fear.

“We gave ourselves a platform over Christmas and we plateaued a bit, but we carried it on against Preston and got in the top half and were making progress.”

The victory at Deepdale moved Orient into the top half of the table for the first time this season and the 28-year-old confirmed: “That was always the aim, get in the top half and keep plugging away.

Most Read

“It’s always nice to be on the first screen of Sky Sports News when the tables come up

“The frustrating thing for us is that we know we are good enough,” said the Cork-born utility player who joined the O’s in the summer and knows that a bad start to the season could have torpedoed their promotion hopes.

“Without a doubt, we always harp on that,” said McSweeney.

“If you take the first 10 games out of the season and start 10 games later, we would probably be in the top six, but unfortunately you can’t do that.”

The O’s took just three points from a possible 30 at the start and McSweeney reflected: “We are in a situation where even if we took two wins from the first 10 games we would be close.

“We went to Preston recently and we played a brand of football and were applauded off by the home fans. Yet against Colchester we completely let ourselves down.

“To come away with a 1-0 defeat when a win would have put us in touch is bitterly disappointing.

“We weren’t good enough; it’s as simple as that. In the second half we didn’t create enough clear cut opportunities to threaten their keeper and we got what we deserved.”

McSweeney will be hoping Orient bounce back to winning ways at the weekend if their trip to Oldham survives a Friday pitch inspection.

“Hopefully, we can dust ourselves off and put it right at the weekend,” he said.

“Oldham came here and tonked us 3-1 earlier in the season, so we owe them one, but looking at their results they are a team that concede goals.

“But we have to dust ourselves and hopefully we can put the Colchester set back behind us.

“Hopefully we have learned our lessons.”