Joy for Jay and he is gunning for Daggers
- Credit: Archant
Orient forward discusses partnership with Paul McCallum and how he aims to lead from the front this year
Jay Simpson and Leyton Orient will go to Dagenham & Redbridge this weekend full of confidence under boss Ian Hendon, a complete contrast to last season.
When Simpson and O’s went to Victoria Road on October 7 for a Johnstone’s Paint Trophy clash, he had played 12 times and not found the net for his new club.
But he scored twice against the Daggers on that night and after getting off the mark against Barnet last weekend, the former Arsenal man and Orient will go to Dagenham in positive spirits.
Simpson impressed against the Bees and his 74th-minute strike was quickly followed by Paul McCallum finding the net to open his account for the club.
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It was the perfect start for Hendon’s team, who will look to make it two league wins from two at Victoria Road having lost 2-1 to MK Dons in the first round of the Capital One Cup last night (Tuesday).
Simpson said: “I am looking forward to the Dagenham match, I have still got a few mates who play for them. I know their manager Wayne Burnett really well.
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“He is a very good coach so it will be nice to go there and if we can win it will be even sweeter.
“I really enjoyed the game at Dagenham last year and every game we go out and want to win. I want to score as many goals as I can, so if I can go there and get another goal it will be great.”
For any forward, it is important to get off the mark as quickly as possible when you start the new campaign and Simpson was pleased to lead from the front.
Although he is only 26-years-old, he is more experienced that most in this Orient squad and wants to be a leading light for the younger members of the team.
Last season he scored eight times for the Brisbane Road club and struggled with injuries throughout the campaign. But after starting well against Barnet, the sky is the limit for Simpson.
“I think it is a relief to get off the mark, once you get one you can get another quickly,” he added.
“The longer you go without scoring it can become quite difficult and the pressure does build, but I am glad to get off the mark.
“We’ve got a lot of young lads in the squad so people will be looking to me to be one of the senior players, so it was good that I could get off the mark against Barnet and try to lead from the front.”
In pre-season the partnership between Simpson and McCallum looked like one that would be capable of hurting a lot of defences in League Two.
It only took them 74 minutes this season to show that and they both could have scored earlier as well.
Simpson fired over in the first half, before testing Graham Stack and seeing another opportunity sail wide in the second period.
McCallum had the best opening after just seven minutes when he was played through on goal, but chipped wide of the Barnet goal with just Stack to beat.
Both made up for it, though, and showed why they will be a deadly duo this year for the O’s.
Simpson added: “I enjoy playing with Paul and we get on really well off the pitch, so it helps our relationship on the pitch.
“It is still new, but we have had a little bit of time in pre-season and time away in Spain. We played again on Saturday against Barnet and hopefully the understanding continues to improve.”
Last weekend was a great start for both and a repeat display at Dagenham could be on the cards.