Orient skipper backs boss Slade as O’s prepare for six-point Saturday

“Every game is a big game given the position we’re in” says Dawson

Orient skipper Stephen Dawson has leapt to the defence of manager Russell Slade following the club’s poor start to the season.

The O’s head to Chesterfield for a League One basement battle on Saturday looking to open their points account and Dawson hopes that Tuesday night’s Carling Cup victory against Bristol Rovers will prove to be a turning point.

“I am just so pleased for the manager and the fans,” said the skipper who lashed home a late winner against The Pirates.

“I have been hearing a lot of stuff over the last couple of days that his (Russell Slade’s) position is under threat and I can’t believe it.

“I feel that people have got to realise that we are Leyton Orient.

“We had an unbelievable season last year, but people have got to realise that our main aim is to stay in the league and after that we can push on.”

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And Dawson laid Orient’s poor start firmly at the feet of the players, rather than the manager.

“As individuals we have let him down. We have not been good enough,” he said.

“I can’t believe the negativity about the place. We know as a group we are letting everyone down, but it’s nothing to do with the manager.”

Dawson now has his sights set on Saturday’s showdown as O’s look to kick-start the season.

“The win against Bristol Rovers will hopefully give the whole place a lift. Make no mistake, the game at Chesterfield is our biggest of the season,” said Dawson.

“It’s a six-pointer already for us, because we have got to win the game and get some points on the board.”

And the O’s skipper is convinced that Tuesday’s win is not another false dawn: “I don’t think so, because the game was the first one we have won in 90 minutes and it will give us a lift.

“Every game is a big game given the position we are in and we won’t take things lightly.

“Chesterfield are struggling, but they will believe that they can get a result as well. But we will go into the game with a bit of belief and confidence.

“It was a big relief to beat Bristol Rovers, because it felt like we couldn’t win a game, but this will give us a lift.

“As skipper I can’t tell you how disappointed I am. We have let everyone down. The manager has put a lot of trust in us and we have got to go and do it for him and ourselves. We have got to kick-start the season with three points on Saturday.”