Slade: We will fight until the end for a play-off place
Orient boss refuses to give up on promotion hopes
Orient boss Russell Slade is determined to put Saturday’s defeat to Exeter behind him and his side and is adamant that the team can still make the play-offs.
With the O’s currently sitting in eighth place, five points behind sixth spot, Slade is determined to fight for every point from Orient’s final four league games.
“We still have 12 points left to play for and we won’t give up until it is mathematically impossible for us to reach the play-offs,” he said.
“There is no question that we must win every game to be in with a chance of getting into the top six, but I believe we can do it.”
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The Orient manager admitted he was disappointed with how his side played against Exeter, but thought the loss was harsh on the O’s.
“We started the game quite well and created four good opportunities.
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“In the second half there was nothing in the game and we made a poor decision which really gifted them the second goal.”
Orient face fourth-place Peterborough at home on Good Friday before a long trip up to Carlisle on Easter Monday.
Slade revealed that he expects both games to provide tough tests for his side.
“Peterborough, in my opinion, are the best attacking side in the league and then Carlisle, who we only played last week, will fancy themselves at home.
“It’s going to be a hard weekend of football.”
In response to Orient’s recent slump in form, Slade admits that the squad has been hampered by injuries to Jimmy Smith, Alex Revell and Ben Chorley.
“Obviously the injuries haven’t been kind to us and they have come at the wrong time. Between them, those three players have scored 24 goals this season, so we miss having them in the side.”
Despite the injuries, Slade revealed that the morale in the squad still remains high.
“We are all staying positive. They are a really great group of lads.
“Even if we didn’t make the play-offs this year, we would be a better side for it and the squad would take a huge amount of experience from this season.”
Far from speculating about what may or may not happen in the summer, the Orient manager insisted that the team are very much focussed on the job in hand.
“I won’t allow anyone to be thinking about the summer. Thoughts of lying on a beach or going on holiday are strictly forbidden.
“We have had a fantastic season, and I honestly believe we can still make that elusive sixth spot.
“After all, it’s a much better feeling fighting for a position at the top of the table, rather than scrapping at the bottom.”