Manager of the month Slade aims for Orient celebration
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO
Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade hopes his players shrug off the disappointment of losing to Rotherham by getting their promotion charge back on track with victory against Peterborough today.
The O’s reverse at the New York Stadium was only their fourth in 28 League One games but was enough to drop them out of the automatic promotion places.
Slade celebrated his second League One manager of the month award yesterday and thinks it’s recognition for the hard work of everyone at the club.
“It’s nice to see recognition for all our work,” he said. “The team, the staff worked exceptionally hard and we had a great month.
“We’ve not kicked off February in quite the form we wanted to but generally we’re going in the right direction which is important.”
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The nature of the last-gasp defeat in South Yorkshire still rankles with Slade.
But with promotion to the Championship still a very real possibility, the manager hopes his players can bounce back against Peterborough - the start of a run of six home games in seven.
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He said: “Apart from 15 seconds of not managing the game at Rotherham at the death it was another solid performance against a team who are going to be in and around it.
“We just need to keep going in the same vein and a repeat performance of the Coventry home game is the recipe we’re looking for.
“We’re serving up some good football and the fans are right behind us.
“The club is going in the right direction and I’ve always believed we can get promoted. The trick is to keep it going until the end.”
The O’s produced one of their best performances of the season at Peterborough in November, goals from David Mooney and Dean Cox clinching a 3-1 win at London Road.
When the teams met then Orient were three points clear of their hosts.
But since they ended Posh’s unbeaten home record, today’s visitors have won four out of 13 League One games and trail the O’s by 15 points.
Britt Assombalonga is League One’s top scorer - with 22 in all competitions - and Nicky Ajose has returned from a loan spell at Swindon to score five goals in the past three league games.
It was enough for Ajose to win January’s League One player of the month award.
Posh boss Darren Ferguson is expecting a tough game.
He said: “It will be a really tough game, but I know that we are capable of going there and getting the right result.
“Perhaps it will be to our advantage in the sense that we are not expected to win at Orient, but one result might just be the catalyst we need.
“Orient haven’t changed much since we played them. Kevin Lisbie was injured for the game at Rotherham and David Mooney came off the bench, so I expect they may line up a bit differently this weekend.
“The are a well-organised team going really, really well.”
Top scorer David Mooney is pushing for a first start in two months after recovering from a foot injury.
The manager said Lisbie could be included after missing the Rotherham game with a groin injury.
He added: “Shaun Batt has been doing more and more which is really encouraging.”
Batt (hamstring) and goalkeeper Jamie Jones (back) are the only two missing for Orient.