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Orient focused as they travel to basement boys Notts County

Dean Cox celebrates scoring against Notts County in September. Pic by Simon O'Connor Dean Cox celebrates scoring against Notts County in September. Pic by Simon O'Connor

Friday, March 7, 2014
1:00 PM

Notts County may be bottom of League One following last weekend’s 6-0 thrashing by Rotherham - but Leyton Orient will not be taking them lightly.

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Manager Russell Slade knows Magpies boss Shaun Derry well, having helped sign him as a player at County when he was assistant at Meadow Lane.

“I went down to his mum and dad’s for a cup of tea and a bite to eat when we signed him at the age of 14,” he remembered.

“We’ve always kept in contact, he’s a really good professional, gave everything and that’s what he’ll be wanting to do as a manager. And given time, he will.

“It will be a real tough one, they got beat heavily at the weekend and they’ll be keen to bounce back, that’s an absolute given.

“They’ll be wanting a better performance and they’ll get a better performance so we’ll have to be on our guard.”

The O’s thrashed the Magpies 5-1 at Brisbane Road with a double from Kevin Lisbie, who signed a new one-year contract earlier this week, and further strikes from Dean Cox, Shaun Batt and Jayden Stockley.

But the visitors have a few injury worries heading into tomorrow’s game.

Captain Nathan Clarke took a bang to the knee last weekend and has not trained most of the week.

Slade said: “He’s done a light session on Thursday as has Shaun Batt, who’s had a bit of trouble with his back.”

The boss added that Mathieu Baudry, who missed the victory against Colchester with a hamstring strain, and David Mooney, who came off with bruised ribs, have not trained this week.

With 12 games remaining, Orient are second in League One on goal difference behind Wolves. They are four points clear of third-placed Brentford, albeit having played two games more.

They are in the thick of the promotion shake-up, and manager Russell Slade has people not to write his team off.

He said: “If you listen to a lot of the media it’s already decided that Wolves and Brentford will be the top two.

“We will use it as a motivational tool that out of the three we are not the ones that are expected to do it.

“We are not feeling the pressure.”

With a 23-point gap to seventh-placed Swindon, only a freak set of results would deny Orient a play-off place - Slade’s target at the start of the season.

The manager thinks “every point is worth fighting for” as the promotion race intensifies.

“We’ve got to 70, we’ve just got to get as many as we can,” he said.

“Every point is worth fighting for, that’s the message. We can’t waste any.

“We’ve won three straight games and we’ve got to be proud of that but every game presents a different challenge.”

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