Orient visit Railwaymen looking to keep promotion charge on track
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Orient are back on the road again tomorrow - and it’s a trip to relegation-threatened Crewe Alexandra on the agenda.
Alex are third from bottom in League One, a point adrift of safety. And the O’s know they will top the table if they better Brentford’s result at Walsall.
But despite their precarious predicament, manager Russell Slade is expecting a tough game against Railwaymen - and thinks they’ve got enough ‘talent and ability’ to get out of trouble.
“I think their home record is fine,” said Orient’s boss. “They’ve won four, drawn four and lost four at Gresty Road.
“It’s on the road where Crewe and Steve (Alex manager Steve Davis) have struggled.
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“They’ve got enough talent and ability to get away from that bottom four there’s no doubt about that.”
The corresponding fixture at Brisbane Road saw the promotion chasers win 2-0 in August thanks to goals from Moses Odubajo and a David Mooney penalty.
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But Slade admitted tomorrow’s game will come a little too soon for Mooney, despite the striker making ‘progress’ on his foot injury.
There was more positive news on midfielder Romain Vincelot though, who has a chance of being involved as he continues his recovery from a knee problem.
With Mooney ruled out there could be a debut for former Barnsley striker Chris Dagnall, who signed an 18-month deal at Brisbane Road yesterday.
His signature will probably bring an end to Orient’s transfer window activity and Slade is delighted with Dagnall’s capture and the club’s business in general.
The 27-year-old is the fifth new face at Brisbane Road this month after loan moves for strikers Jamar Loza from Norwich and Spurs’ Shaquile Coulthirst, midfielder Jamie Ness from Stoke and Hull goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic.
He said: “I’m really pleased we’ve got the signature of Chris Dagnall who’s played the last couple of seasons in the Championship and I’m sure he’ll bring something to the table.
“It strengthens us up front going into the rest of the season.
“It’s been a busy few weeks but we’ve managed to get the personnel on board we needed.”