Orient fans will be key, says Dunne

Leyton Orient supporters will have a key role this season (Scott Heavy/EMPICS Sport).

Leyton Orient supporters will have a key role this season (Scott Heavy/EMPICS Sport). - Credit: EMPICS Sport

Experienced defender believes O’s support at Dagenham and for rest of the season is vital

Alan Dunne believes the Leyton Orient supporters will play a big part in them being successful this season ahead of this weekend’s derby encounter with Dagenham & Redbridge.

The O’s make the short trip to Victoria Road off the back of Saturday’s 2-0 triumph over Barnet and Tuesday’s encouraging 2-1 defeat to MK Dons in the Capital One Cup.

The 32-year-old was introduced against the Bees and played 81 minutes midweek as he builds up his fitness.

Ian Hendon’s side were well supported in both fixtures and Dunne believes those fans could be crucial this year.

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He said: “It is not too far for the supporters to go and it is a derby game. The fans that were at MK Dons made themselves heard.

“They were great and made a lot of noise. You need them throughout the season – home and away.

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“The fans are a big part of any successful side, them getting behind the team and especially at Dagenham on Saturday they will be right behind us and that will help to make us push on and try to get the points we need.”

Dunne expects the match to be completely different to the one they had on Tuesday against MK Dons.

He is certain Daggers under Wayne Burnett will be keen to put on a good show in front of their home supporters.

The Victoria Road outfit have endured a tough start to the season with a 3-0 loss at Portsmouth on the opening day followed by a 4-1 thrashing at Charlton Athletic on Tuesday.

But they will be keen to earn the bragging rights in this east London derby, Dunne added: “It will be a totally different game on Saturday compared to MK Dons and no doubt it will be a hard game.

“It will be a League Two match so a scrap and they’ll be direct. They have come off the back of a 3-0 defeat and I know Wayne Burnett.

“He would have watched us and he’ll have them at it. It will be a difficult game but the quality we have in the team was shown against MK Dons and if we go there and show that quality again no doubt we will go and beat Dagenham.”

From a personal point of view, Dunne was pleased with his contribution on Tuesday night and feels he is getting close to his best.

He admitted he is around two weeks behind the rest of the squad, but hopes to be fully fit and available for selection soon.

Dunne said: “I am really pleased with the start on Tuesday, that is near enough my second 90 minutes now.

“I am getting there fitness wise and training hard every day and I want to be in the team. I was left-back at MK Dons, I put a good shift in and I felt we were comfortable as a back four.

“I got cramp at the end and I had to come off at the end as a precaution. The result made me disappointed, but I was pleased with my own performance, I thought I did alright.

“I am about two weeks behind the lads in terms of fitness but I played a lot of football last year and I have got a lot of experience. It is just a bit of sharpness that needs polishing up but I am getting there and it was good to get 81 minutes at MK Dons.”

The former Millwall man will now hope to play some part this weekend against Daggers and help Hendon’s side make it two wins from two in League Two.

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