Lisbie: I don’t want to put pressure on Jay, but he’ll be firing soon
PUBLISHED: 09:00 01 March 2019
Simon O'Connor Photography
Jay Simpson’s former strike partner backs the new signing to make his mark at O’s again
Kevin Lisbie is confident Jay Simpson will help Leyton Orient get over the line and ensure the club seal a return to the Football League at the end of this season.
The experienced forward, who helped Cray Valley PM reach the semi-finals of the FA Vase on Saturday, discussed his old team-mate this week while admitting no one wants to see O’s involved in the play-offs again.
Lisbie played with Simpson during the 2014/15 season in E10 and although he didn’t want to put too much pressure on the 30-year-old, he is sure he will deliver for Orient in their quest to win promotion from the National League.
He said: “They have had a bit of a slip recently, but you are always going to have a little dip and it is just how you react to it.
“I think getting Jay in will be massive for the club and once Jay is fit and raring to go he will be a great addition to the squad.”
There was a moment where Lisbie thought twice about increasing expectation on the former Queens Park Rangers forward during our chat, but after some laughter, he still continued to sing his praises.
While Simpson has failed to get off the mark in his second stint at Orient so far, his friend is sure he will be back in the goals again soon.
“It won’t take Jay long because he is a fit boy, but you can’t recreate games, so he just needs a couple - maybe two or three games - and he’ll be firing,” Lisbie, 40, said.
“I don’t want to put too much pressure on him, but once he is firing, with the other strikers we’ve got, I think Orient have a good chance and let’s hope it isn’t the play-offs and we go up straight away.”
Simpson’s second spell in east London is only two games old so it would be harsh to criticise him already.
If he can get firing, as Lisbie expects, it would go a big way to helping Orient return to the current holy grail of the Football League.
O’s are still the favourites to win the title, sitting third in the table with 60 points after 33 games and two in hand over leaders Wrexham.
Yet there is still a big chance it will have to be the play-offs for Justin Edinburgh’s team, but Lisbie would rather they avoided them all together.
He added: “I am sure no one at the club wants play-off – no one in football does – and especially given what happened the last time we were there!
“There is still a bit to go and if the boys can go on a run like they did before, I don’t think the other teams will be able to keep up the pace and for me it is always about what Orient do, rather than the others.
“Hopefully they can find their feet again, go on a nice little run and avoid the play-offs this time.”