Orient ‘must fight to finish’
16:44 13 March 2015
Simon O'Connor Photography
Midfielder Wright ready for crunch battle
Leyton Orient midfielder Josh Wright says the players have got to fight to the very finish if they are to be successful in their battle for League One survival.
The Brisbane Road club lie two points adrift of safety in 21st place, but have a game in hand on Coventry and welcome bottom club Yeovil to E10 tomorrow.
Other key fixtures againt Crawley and Coventry are coming up in the next few weeks and Wright is well aware of the situation.
He said: “Every game from now until May 3 is absolutely crucial.
“Of course, we’re playing a team that’s down there with us. Yeovil are a big club and they will be a tough game.
“They’re going to come here, they’ve played midweek as well, obviously they got beat by the top of the league, but they’re going to be fighting for their lives as well, everyone is.”
Orient won 3-0 when the sides met at Huish Park at the end of 2014, with goals from Chris Dagnall, Kevin Lisbie and Dean Cox lifting them out of the drop zone.
But they took only one point from their first five matches of 2015, before winning three of their next four to raise hopes once more.
Successive defeats against leaders Bristol City and Peterborough have checked that progress and Wright added: “Everyone’s playing for their livelihoods now and it’s up to us and the crowd. The crowd could play a massive part.
“They can be fantastic at home and I’m looking forward to playing in front of a home crowd again.
“They can give us a real lift, but we’ve got to do it, we’re the players out there and we’ve got to pull our sleeves up and fight until the final whistle.”
It has felt like a particularly long week for the players, according to Wright, after their 1-0 loss at Peterborough, where Jon Taylor’s fluke proved the difference.
But the mood in the camp remains positive, with Wright adding: “It’s not nice, if you lose you want another game quickly you want to play on that Tuesday or whatever it is.
“The fact we’ve had to wait a whole week wasn’t ideal, but we’ve been out there, the weather has been on our side, it makes the place a bit brighter, as it will anywhere, but we’ve been positive out there.
“The gaffer’s been positive and we’ve all been working hard, doing what we’ve got to do and focusing in the right way to get the points we need on Saturday.”
Manager Fabio Liverani knows full well the importance of this weekend’s fixture.
“Saturday is very important for the club. It will be crucial for not only this season, but also next season,” the Italian told the club’s official website.
“Winning on Saturday will be sure to strengthen either team’s survival hopes.”
O’s will be without French midfielder Romain Vincelot for the rest of the season after he suffered knee ligament damage at Peterborough.
Shane Lowry is yet to return to full training, but Ryan Hedges was back with the team on Thursday and could be available.
“We still have alternative players available in midfield, such as Bartley, Wright and Pritchard, who are all important to the team,” he added.
“Lloyd James is also now back in training so he will add another option when he returns to full fitness.
“Overall, both the physical and mental condition of the squad is good at this moment.
“We are aware that this game is very important for our season and the players know that as well.
“Every game is now doubly important for us to get the three points. When we come up against teams in a similar position to ourselves it becomes a six-pointer.”