Orient have ‘nine cup finals’
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO
Liverani: We will fight until last game
O’s boss Fabio Liverani says his side are now facing nine cup finals in their battle to avoid relegation from League One.
Izale McLeod’s penalty sent them to defeat at Crawley last weekend and Liverani’s side welcome Port Vale to E10 still three points adrift of safety.
But the Italian says his players will fight to the very finish to ensure survival
“Every game is important. We have nine finals. Port Vale is the first one we are going to face and is definitely one where we hope to bring the three points home,” said Liverani.
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“The supporters can be sure we will fight until the very last game of the season to avoid relegation and if they watch the game they easily can see that we only conceded one real chance, losing the penalty.
“We created chances for an equaliser, even if we didn’t play the best game of the season we still deserved at least a draw.”
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Lewis Price kept out efforts from Chris Dagnall, Darius Henderson and the returning Dean Cox, with a stunning fingertip save, before Luke O’Neill was penalised for a foul on McLeod, who stepped up to roll the spot kick past Alex Cisak.
But O’s struggled to find a way past the massed ranks of Crawley’s defence in the second half, with David Mooney and Ryan Hedges denied by substitute keeper Brian Jensen late on.
Liverani added: “We lacked a bit of quality. We played well for the first 30 minutes with the ball on the floor and switching play quite a lot, but after the goal which was a gift to them, they stayed back, defended very deep and we started to play long balls.
“Yes we lacked a bit of quality, but we created a lot of chances and gifted away a goal that gave them the victory.” The travelling supporters cheered when Henderson was replaced by Jay Simpson, but Liverani backed the big striker and asked for understanding.
He added: “I respect the supporters opinion, but Henderson is an important player for us.
“He puts everything in training and is coming back from injury, so it’s difficult for him to keep playing every game with the same level of intensity because he’s not 100 per cent fit yet.
“I really like the players I have, they form a very good group of players and men, so I’m totally on their side.
“The only thing I ask is the supporters to believe in the players and support us and stay close to us because together we can really try and get out of this situation.”
With Jobi McAnuff and Ryan Hedges receiving international call-ups for Jamaica and Wales under-21s, respectively, and Romain Vincelot out for the season with a knee injury, Orient signed Reading’s Jake Taylor on loan this week.
The 23-year-old could go straight into the side today.