Slade: We showed great character

O’s boss happy to earn a replay

ORIENT boss Russell Slade praised his side’s durability on Monday night, as they came from behind to keep their FA Cup hopes alive.

The O’s were trailing 1-0 to Ciaran Kilheeney’s first-half strike, but Scott McGleish levelled 17 minutes from time to keep Orient in the competition.

The O’s manager said afterwards: “We showed great character in the second half, got the equaliser and then I thought we might well have gone on and won the game.

“The main thing is that we’re still in there fighting,” said Slade as the O’s meet the non-league side in a replay at Brisbane Road next Tuesday for the right to play Norwich in the third round.

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It’s the third game in a row that Orient have come from behind to finish all square, although Slade wondered whether Monday night’s clash should have gone ahead at all.

“It was tricky for more than one reason,” he said. “If you’d looked at the pitch after about 45 minutes, you’d probably not have played the game,” he said.

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“But we did and conditions were the same for both sides. I thought they adapted particularly well in the first half and they deserved their lead.

“We had a few chances in the second period and one or two couldn’t get their footing right when they had the opportunity. Perhaps we didn’t test their goalkeeper enough considering the positions we got in.

“We’re disappointed we didn’t get the second goal, because it was one-way traffic in the second half.”

Before next Tuesday’s replay, the O’s entertain Carlisle United on Saturday, and have now lost just once in their last 10 games in all compettions.

Top scorer Alex Revell, who has netted 11 goals this season, may be a doubt after coming off just 12 minutes into the second half at Droylsden on Monday.

“Underfoot conditions weren’t great and Alex was feeling his calf and hamstring area,” said Slade.

“We gave him five minutes in the second half and it wasn’t working, so we made a change.”

The O’s boss will monitor the injury ahead of Saturday’s game, but he will have extra players at his disposal.

Defender Elliot Omozusi, the only player to have started in all of Orient’s previous 24 games, was ruled out of the Droylsden match after picking up his fifth booking of the season, but will return at the weekend.

It means Terrell Forbes, who played as a emergency right back on Monday, is likely to move back into the heart of the rearguard in place of Aaron Brown.

Skipper Stephen Dawson is also likely to start after coming on as a substitute at Droylsden, after recovering from a horror challenge by Carl Regan in the clash at Bristol Rovers.

While Andrew Whing also comes into contention again.

He missed out on Monday night’s FA Cup clash as Brighton did not want him cup-tied.

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