Orient Wo-king hard to end poor run

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Orient will be hoping a full house will be the difference in this relegation battle.

Leyton Orient are offering £5 entry to fans as they hope to end their dry spell this weekend against relegation rivals Woking.

Having been held to a goalless draw by Eastleigh last weekend, the O’s have now picked up a mere three points in their last six games.

After seven successive defeats at the Matchroom stadium for Justin Edinburgh’s side, a win on Saturday would give their fans the first reason to cheer since Boxing Day.

Related: Orient lose seventh in a row at home as Gulls hold on

Orient made four changes in their starting line-up against Eastleigh, but it was not enough to secure more than a point, despite more possession and second-half chances from both Dan Holman and Macauley Bonne.

Edinburgh is Orient’s tenth manager since 2014, and his team lie one place above Anthony Limbrick’s Woking side. Both teams are on 44 points and are separated only by goal difference.

“you’re expected to push on at home – but it’s hard to stand out on that pitch.”

Orient’s confidence, however, will be boosted by the recent return of influential winger Jobi McAnuff, who played his first game since early February last weekend, having been kept out of the first-team squad by a nerve injury.

Fans will be hoping he can make an impact on his first game back at Brisbane Road this Saturday.

The game is seen as a must-win for Edinburgh’s team, who have suffered from club fall-outs and financial difficulties in recent years, and now lie only eight points above the relegation zone.

 

Weighing in on the reasons behind Orient’s poor run of form, Edinburgh said last weekend that pitch conditions at Brisbane Road were making games much more difficult.

He said: “It’s a different game when you’re at home – you’re expected and demanded to push on – but it’s hard enough to stand out on that pitch, let alone pass and take the game to the opposition.”

It followed comments from Orient chief executive Danny Macklin earlier in February, who also pointed at a “lack of investment into pitch preparation and maintenance” for the current spell of defeats and draws.

Yet Tuesday’s 1-0 win in a friendly against Greenwich Borough, with a goal from Lamar Reynolds, will be a boost to Orient’s confidence.

It was also an opportunity for Edinburgh to try out some of his young players who have struggled to get game-time so far this season, including Charlie Grainger and newly-recruited Nathan Mavila, who both played the full game which was hosted at Harlow Town FC.

Woking, who have not won in seven games, also have cause to be concerned, especially after their top goal scorer Enih Efiong was signed by Ross County in January for an undisclosed fee.  

One player who Orient will be looking to unnerve is defender Josh Staunton, who was named in the Vanarama’s most recent league team of the week after stopping Wrexham in their tracks with a goal and a good performance.

Two faces that will not be making an appearance are midfielder Henry Ochieng, 19, and defender Michael Clark, 20, academy products who were both released on Monday this week.

They are the latest players to leave the club as part of Edinburgh’s plans to clear out younger footballers who have struggled to get game time in the team. They join Aron Pollock, Freddy Moncur and Jamie Sendles-White, who have all departed since the transfer window shut.

The game is a 3 o’clock kick-off.