Bartley: Orient must battle together
- Credit: Archant
Midfielder says players are pulling in same direction
Leyton Orient midfielder Marvin Bartley says the players have to stick together in their fight against relegation from League One.
A 1-0 home defeat to Doncaster in midweek left O’s above the drop zone on goal difference, with only four games remaining.
They visit third-placed MK Dons on Saturday before playing their game in hand at Rochdale on Tuesday and Bartley knows it is crunch time in their survival bid.
“Regardless of anything of what happens on the pitch, or off the pitch, we have to stick together,” he said.
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“If we don’t stick together we make it harder so the lads have to stick together and keep battling for each other.
“There’s some experienced boys in there and we’re trying to drag each other through.
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“The lads are all together, trying to pull in the same direction. We will get out of it.”
Bartley, 28, has personal experience of relegation having dropped into the bottom tier with Bournemouth in 2008.
And he says it’s up to the squad to right the wrongs of the current campaign to ensure they avoid suffering the same fate.
He added: “I was at Bournemouth and was unfortunate to get relegated, but it was slightly different circumstances because we went into administration and were playing catch-up.
“We’re fighting for our lives down here, we’ve got to outfight and outdo everyone we play against, regardless of what they’re going for and where they are in the league. We’ve got to pick up points, it’s that simple.
“It’s our fault that we’re in this position. Us as players have got us in this position. It’s not as if we’ve all been brought in in January and we wasn’t at fault before that.
“We got ourselves into this position and we need to get ourselves out.”
Facing an MK Dons side, who are still pushing for automatic promotion to the Championship, might not be the ideal trip for Fabio Liverani’s men.
But Bartley knows O’s can compete with any side, having seen them dominate an in-form Barnsley in a goalless draw last month and have their chances to take the lead againt Doncaster.
He added: “We can’t fear anybody. On our day, we can turn it on definitely. It could’ve been a lot different if we had put away our chances in the first half.
“We can’t fear anybody and we’ve got to take our chances.
“You have to give credit to their goalkeeper because he’s pulled off some saves, but we’ve got to score, simple as that.
“Teams are managing to score against us and we’ve got a great goalkeeper so we’ve got to start putting the ball in the back of the net, it’s that simple.”