Orient need to improve says Hessenthaler
- Credit: Simon O'Connor /LOFC/TGS Photo
Caretaker looks ahead to the visit of Plymouth Argyle and Jay Simpson’s return to form
Leyton Orient caretaker Andy Hessenthaler concedes they will need to improve tonight if they are to beat promotion rivals Plymouth Argyle.
The Green Army make the long trip to Brisbane Road for a crucial clash in the battle to go up from League Two. While the Devon club still harbour hopes of going up automatically, O’s only chance is via the play-offs.
A 3-2 win over local rivals Dagenham & Redbridge last weekend boosted their hopes, but they’ll need to deliver a better display this evening.
“Plymouth are a good side and I’ve been up against them in recent years with different clubs and they’ll be well drilled,” said Hessenthaler.
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“They got a good result on Saturday at Portsmouth, winning 2-1, and it won’t be easy for us. We need to dust up on a few things like the goals we conceded, but the pleasing thing was we went out there and gave our all for the shirt at the weekend.
“The play-offs is what the players have to keep focusing on. There is a big chance we can still get in there, but we need to go out and take our chance. They’ll be focused, they were against Dagenham under tricky circumstances, so they’ll be ready.”
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A huge boost for Orient was a return to form of top goalscorer Jay Simpson after a lean spell recently. The 27-year-old hit a brace against Dagenham, but that was the first time he had found the net since March 1.
It takes him within one goal of Bristol Rovers forward Matty Taylor, who leads the charts in the division with 26 goals.
Hessenthaler hopes his striker can now go on another encouraging run, adding: “I’m pleased for Jay, he hit the post for the hat-trick and he deserved that really.
“Obviously he has had a dry spell and when you have them, I imagine you tend to get frustrated and try too hard in the end and that’s been the problem with Jay over the last few weeks.
“He was good on Saturday, it was great to see him scoring goals again and I’m not sure if he’s caught the fella Taylor from Bristol Rovers. It is neck and neck between them two.”
Simpson scored in the 1-1 draw between Orient and Plymouth in November and if the east Londoners are to get a result tonight, you’d expect his contribution to be key.