Orient ‘character’ will be key
13:30 20 March 2015
Simon O"Connor/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way Braintree Essex
Pritchard backing squad’s spirit
Leyton Orient midfielder Bradley Pritchard believes the squad’s character will be key in their battle against relegation from League One.
Pritchard came into the starting line-up in place of Marvin Bartley for the midweek meeting with in-form Barnsley and went agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock in a goalless stalemate.
Tykes keeper Adam Davies produced a stunning fingertip save to deny him in the second half at Brisbane Road, but Pritchard says O’s will travel to fellow strugglers Crawley with plenty of confidence this weekend.
He said: “Saturday’s a huge game and the boys are already talking about it, which is good.
“Straight away we’re focused on that game. We’re not thinking past that. It’s just Crawley on Saturday.
“We know what we have to get out of it, how we need to play. It’s a huge game, but a game that the boys will thrive upon.
“In any sort of situation during the season the big characters have stood up and helped keep us on track.
“The gaffer has instilled that in us. Everyone knows what they’re meant to be doing. When you’ve got people confident, it’s good. Hopefully we can keep on improving.”
Orient ran out comfortable 3-0 winners over bottom club Yeovil last weekend, after early goals from Chris Dagnall and Ryan Hedges put them on top.
Jobi McAnuff added a third in the second half.
Bartley admitted it was good to keep back-to-back clean sheets this week and believes the club’s experienced players are showing their worth.
He added: “In the past we’ve struggled, even though we have played well. We’ve lost by the odd goal because of little mistakes or superb pieces of skill from the opposition.
“But it’s good to see us keeping that clean sheet. We’ve had pressure this whole season. We’ve got experienced guys and that will count and be very important.
“Guys have played higher with a lot more pressure and a lot more riding on games. We’ve just got to use all the experience and quality the squad does actually have.”
Despite taking four points from a possible six this week, Orient actually lost ground on some of their relegation rivals.
They are now three points adrift of safety, but have crunch fixtures coming up against Crawley and Coventry, especially.
Pritchard added: “It’s definitely going to be a really tight finish. I just hope we’re on the right side of the line come the end of the season, that’s all I’m focused upon.
“You’ve only got to look at the players in our dressing room, why wouldn’t you believe?”