Orient captain confident of getting required wins
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO
Brisbane Road skipper reflects on draw with Crewe and O’s pressure
Leyton Orient skipper Nathan Clarke has told his team-mates to concentrate on themselves in their battle to avoid relegation.
The 31-year-old returned to the starting line-up at Crewe Alexandra and impressed in the 1-1 draw at Gresty Road.
That point kept Fabio Liverani’s side out of the bottom four on goal difference ahead of their clash with Doncaster Rovers at Brisbane Road on Tuesday.
Clarke played the full 90 minutes again for O’s against Donny, but they were beaten 1-0 to deepen their relegation fears
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Orient remain outside of the relegation places on goal difference, though, prior to their trip to MK Dons at the weekend,
But Clarke, speaking after the stalemate with Crewe, has admitted they just need to focus on doing their job and not worry about the results of teams around them.
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He said: “A couple of losses and teams do get dragged into a relegation battle and it is such a tight league.
“It is even tight with the teams in the play-offs and challenging for promotion. You have just got to try and concentrate on yourselves as much as you can.
“It is hard to know how many points will be enough to keep us up and, as cliché as it sounds, we just need to take each game as it comes and get the wins.
“We need to get out of the mess we’ve put ourselves in.”
Orient’s captain has found himself in and out of the side this campaign, but relishes the battle when he is selected.
“You obviously want the pressure and you thrive on that,” added Clarke. “You have just got to make sure everybody is focused and ready.
“There is no other thing like this pressure and you want to be playing out there as much as you can. The lads that are on the bench are desperate to get on and help the team forward.”
O’s remaining four games are against teams looking to get a play-off spot. And that made Saturday’s point at Crewe feel like two dropped in their survival battle.
Darius Henderson cancelled out Lauri Dalla Valle’s 10th-minute opener for the hosts, but Liverani’s team had opportunities to win.
“We have to look at it as points dropped rather than one gained,” said Clarke. “We have got to take the positives, but we need to look at the second half and see where we can improve in the opponent’s box.
“We had a couple of good chances there.”
Orient travel to MK Dons on Saturday, before another tough away game at Rochdale on Tuesday – their game in hand.
But Clarke is confident, adding: “We always seem to do okay against teams at the top. We’re a good group and we are looking forward to each game.”
O’s boss Liverani echoed the sentiments of his skipper and believes they can get more joy.
“Our remaining games are against teams fighting for promotion, but we are fighting against relegation so our spirit will be no different,” he said.
“Let’s hope we continue the same trend and put in good performances and get points against the good teams.”