Orient boss Slade looking for repeat of last season’s unbeaten run
Orient boss Russell Slade has underlined his determination to push the club forward, as they prepare to launch their League One season at Walsall on Saturday.
The O’s boss who, against the odds, guided the team to seventh place last season, is desperate to launch a promotion push this time around.
“I’m always optimistic and I will do my utmost to drive this club forward and push on as high as we can,” said Slade.
“We will try and get some sort of pattern going again, like we did last season.
“We have already started to do that and settle into a pattern about how we will prepare and, to be fair to the group, they have got a great attitude and you can’t question their work ethic.
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“I’m sure when the opening game comes at Walsall they will be up and ready.”
Orient made a poor start to their league season last year and that’s an area Slade will want to improve upon.
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But there will be an ex-Orient contingent at Walsall, looking to put the skids under Slade’s side at the weekend.
Former O’s favourite Dean Smith is now manager at the Banks’s Stadium and he swooped to sign Orient duo Adam Chambers and Ryan Jarvis during pre-season.
“That’s a sticky wicket straight away,” smiled Slade.
“With Jarvis and ‘Chambo’, they will probably score two goals each. But that’s life and we will get on with it.”
Both players only played peripherial roles at Orient last season and it’s fair to assume that Slade will be more concerned with his own injury worries than the Saddlers team at the weekend.
Skipper Stephen Dawson and new striker David Mooney both suffered injuries during last Friday’s final pre-season friendly against Spurs.
Orient lost the game 4-1 against a strong Tottenham side, jam-packed with internationals.
“I can take the defeat on the chin, but it’s hard to take the two injuries,” admitted Slade. “The most disappointing thing was the injuries to Dawson and Mooney.
“Mooney has got a hamstring problem and we don’t know how bad it is at this moment in time. And Dawson’s ankle injury is the one that kept him out of a couple of games in Finland.
“They are up against it for Saturday and that’s bitterly disappointing.”
And it’s a lack of depth in the squad that could de-rail Orient’s hopes during the course of the season.
With a hectic pre-season schedule complete in terms of fixtures, Slade admitted that he was pleased with the way things have progressed.
“Pre-season has been good. The trip to Finland was great. I am happy enough with the squad, although I think we’re a little bit short in depth, so that’s why we need a loan or two,” he said.
“It’s just about having everyone available and if we have got everyone available I’m a happy bunny. But I don’t think that’s going to be the case as we were three players missing against Spurs with (Jamie) Jones, (Terrell) Forbes and (Jonathan) Tehoue all out.”
Tehoue was expected to return to training, but Slade added: “Forbes will miss the first game of the season we think and Jones is certain to be out