Coulson wants Orient to extend unbeaten record away to leaders
PUBLISHED: 09:00 21 September 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
Justin Edinburgh's team visit Harrogate Town this weekend eager to leave with a positive result
Leyton Orient centre back Josh Coulson believes Harrogate Town deserve to be top of the National League standings.
The two clubs will do battle in Yorkshire this weekend in what could be an intriguing clash between teams with contrasting histories.
Orient have spent most of their time in the Football League while this is the highest Town have ever been, but they are equals now and Coulson paid tribute to the hosts.
He said: “Harrogate are not a surprise package anymore. They have done really well and they are there for a reason.
“They also have a 3G pitch, which helps them, but we have already won on one of them this season (at Maidstone United). We want to stay unbeaten, so it should be an entertaining game.”
Last season was Orient’s first in non-league and they were caught cold on quite a few occasions, especially during the early months of the campaign.
Games at Sutton United and Bromley resulted in painful August defeats and O’s would suffer some more losses before Justin Edinburgh led a mid-season recovery.
Things are very different at E10 now and this squad is well aware of the challenge each National League team brings.
Coulson added: “We know what to expect. We will prepare right and hopefully get a good result.”
After such a strong start, with O’s unbeaten after 11 games like Harrogate, excitement is building amongst fans.
Defender Coulson did little to dampen the position mood when he reflected on if this group was similar to the Cambridge United team he was part of which won promotion out of this division in the 2013/14 season.
The U’s finished second behind John Still’s Luton Town, but went up via the play-offs with a 2-1 win over Gateshead at Wembley Stadium.
Cambridge started the term strongly like Orient, although they actually won their first 11 games in the then-titled Conference.
“When I got promoted (in 2014), it was very similar and I think we went 11 unbeaten in the league at the start of the season and kicked on and won through the play-offs,” Coulson said.
“But I would say our character is bigger and our dressing room is more together. I have never been in a dressing room like this.
“Every day is enjoyable. We work hard and back each other to perform and the strength in depth shows as well because the lads who come on against Barnet were class.”