Smith believes new signings key to Orient pulling away from bottom four
Midfielder believes trio will give the O’s a shot in the arm
Midfielder Jimmy Smith grabbed Orient’s last-gasp leveller at Colchester on Saturday – and believes the side have started to turn the corner and that the club’s recent signings will help them pull away from danger.
O’s boss Russell Slade captured three players prior to the game. He signed experienced striker Kevin Lisbie and brought goalkeeper Ben Alnwick in on loan from Tottenham, along with Huddersfield Town midfielder Tom Clarke.
Smith believes the addition of the trio will provide injury- hit O’s with a massive shot in the arm as they look to climb the table.
“The gaffer has brought in a few players and today was the first game we have all been together and I thought we moved the ball around well and created loads of chances,” said Smith after the game.
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“They are all good players and have experience too and with the squad we have got now we can push on. It was a great team performance and now we have got to move on to the next game.”
Smith’s goals were a key ingredient of Orient’s success last season and the midfielder believes that they can do it again this year, despite the awful start.
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“We have got to push on from this and we have got two games at home now against Bournemouth on Tuesday night and Oldham on Saturday and we must make the most of them.
“We feel that we have got a good squad and the aim now is to move on together and get in the top half of the table and then push on towards the play-offs.”
The O’s have lost all three league games at home this season - against Tranmere, Wycombe and Carlisle. But Smith insists there is no extra pressure playing at The Matchroom and believes that once they break their points duck at Brisbane Road the season will take off.
“We have had chances at home, but just not put them away, but hopefully that will come, and once it does, I’m sure we will start to climb the table,” he said.
And he hopes that the battling performance at Colchester is the start of the revival. The O’s were well worth a point and Smith reflected afterwards: “If we’d have left here with nothing today we would have been robbed.
“They had one or two shots in the first half, but in the second half we were all over them. I felt we had chances to actually get all three points.”
Although Smith emerged as the goal hero, he was happy to give the credit to the rest of the team.
“The goals don’t matter. I’m trying to get in areas to put them away, but it’s a team game and the most important thing is that we get points and move up the table and all the players were great today.
“I just thank god I was in the right place at the right time to get the point. The keeper was at the near post and when George (Porter) crossed the ball, I knew I had to hit it first time.
“I think we deserved the three points to be honest, but we will take the point and move on.
“When we went 1-0 down just before half-time we were gutted, but the gaffer said it was one of the best halves we have played.
“He said just go out there in the second half and put them under pressure and that’s what happened and in the end we got our reward.”
“Late goals were a hallmark of Orient’s success last season and they hit the target late on in last Wednesday’s game against Dagenham & Redbridge and repeated the trick on Saturday.
“Sometimes teams die off in the last 20 minutes, but we’re told it’s a 90-minute game and we have to go to the end. That’s what been drilled into us and that’s what we do,”