Kick-Off: Turgott targets top spots
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO
Orient attacker discusses time at West Ham, linking up with Ian Hendon again and more
Promotion is the aim for Leyton Orient this season insists Blair Turgott, who is looking to make a name for himself after coming through the youth ranks at West Ham.
The young winger, like many that progress from the academy of Premier League clubs, found chances limited at Upton Park and has instead been forced to get experience out on loan.
He explained that moving to Brisbane Road is the opportunity that he needed and he cannot wait for the League Two season to start this week.
“At the end of the day we have come down from League One and let’s not beat around the bush, promotion is the goal for everyone here,” said Turgott.
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“We can’t take anything for granted, it is not going to be easy so we need to take every game as it comes. We are targeting the first five games.
“Hopefully leading up to Christmas or January we can look back and see how far we have come, but at the moment we have had a good pre-season and everyone is just looking to start well and see where it takes us.
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“I feel like Orient is where I want to be. I want to help the club push up because we shouldn’t really be in this league, so my goal is to help the team get as high as we possibly can and we’ll see what the season brings.”
Turgott might not have ended up at Orient had Ian Hendon not taken over as head coach at Brisbane Road in the summer.
After working together in the West Ham development team, the duo have a good relationship and the 21-year-old is pleased to link up with Hendon again.
Turgott ended last season at Coventry and had a conversation with Sky Blues boss Tony Mowbray about staying at the Ricoh Arena, but nothing materialised and he was more than happy to move to east London.
“I was at Coventry for the end of the season and I did speak to the manager there about next year so I could weigh up my options,” said Turgott.
“When I did get the call from ‘Hendo’ I knew him from West Ham so we had a good relationship and when he said he was interested in bringing me in I was happy he showed faith in me.
“Obviously he made the decision to bring me here, but now it is down to me. He has done his part by signing me and now I have to show why I am here and why I should be playing.
“The competition here is good in training and we have a good group of players. Competition only brings out the best in your performance so hopefully for me, whatever does happen, if I am in the team or not I have given my best to do my bit to help us push on.”
Hendon will certainly have some decisions to make over who starts against Barnet on Saturday.
Jobi McAnuff has returned from his busy and successful summer with Jamaica and scored for Orient in a 4-2 win against National League South side Bishop’s Stortford last weekend.
But Hendon lined up with a diamond formation against Southend on Sunday, which could mean Turgott may be restricted to the bench.
Regardless of what happens, the former West Ham and Dagenham & Redbridge winger is looking to learn from the likes of McAnuff and Dean Cox, adding: “We have a nice mix in the team – we’ve got experience and youth.
“I guess you would class me as one of the younger boys so I am trying to get tips off other people and get advice to help me in my career, because obviously I don’t know it all.
“It is always good to speak to other people that have played at a higher level than me because that is where I aspire to be, so I think ‘Coxy’ and Jobi, as well as the other older players have almost tried to take me under their wing and show me the ropes. That can only be a good thing going forward.”
Turgott has enjoyed an encouraging pre-season for Orient and his pace in particular will definitely be useful this season. The young man will definitely have a part to play this year and could be a key impact weapon for Hendon.