Payne happy to play anywhere for Orient
- Credit: Archant
Midfielder reflects on debut, O’s formation and how they are on track to achieve their targets
Jack Payne was delighted to make his Leyton Orient debut against Cambridge United at the weekend and pleased to play the full 90 minutes to help his new side pick up a point to keep them at the top of League Two.
The midfielder, on loan from Peterborough United, lined up alongside Lloyd James, Sammy Moore and Bradley Pritchard at the Abbey Stadium.
Orient head coach Ian Hendon decided to stick with the diamond formation against the U’s and had James as the deepest midfielder and Pritchard the furthest forward of the four against Cambridge.
That meant Payne and Moore were on the right and left respectively, although they were given a license to roam all around the pitch, with Dean Cox left on the substitutes bench as a precaution after missing training last week.
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Hendon has favoured the diamond formation for the early part of the campaign and though it divides opinion among supporters, it definitely allows Orient to control the ball in midfield.
Payne was happy to play his part against Cambridge and put in a solid display on his full debut for the Brisbane Road outfit.
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The Posh ace ensured the O’s kept possession well at the Abbey Stadium and was thrilled Jay Simpson’s goal in the 73rd minute earned a 1-1 draw, which keeps Orient at the summit with 16 points from their opening seven matches of the campaign.
“I think first half we were on top by far and they didn’t get near us at some points,” said Payne.
“Cambridge struggled to get out of their own half for a 15-minute spell halfway through, but we just need to kill teams off.
“I think that will come, but all the midfield boys were good on Saturday and it is just a shame we didn’t get those three points.
“Normally I am the sitter, the deepest midfielder, when I have played in this formation before, but I can play on the right side or the left. It’s not a problem for me.
“I just want to play. I’ll play anywhere the boss wants.”
Payne will be hoping to keep his starting berth when Gareth Ainsworth brings his organised Wycombe Wanderers team to Brisbane Road this weekend.
It will be a real test of Orient’s title credentials as they take on last season’s beaten play-off finalists, with Orient searching for a first win in September.
Payne only featured twice for Peterborough before joining the O’s on loan, but now feels up to speed fitness-wise after playing the whole match last Saturday.
He has made no secret of the fact that he has linked up with Hendon’s side because he feels they can be successful this season and earn promotion.
And Orient feel they are on the right track, Payne adding: “Within this group and in our squad we have got our targets.
“We know what we need to do and we know what we want to do. Come the end of the season I think we will have achieved our aims.
“I felt good against Cambridge so I believe I’m at my peak now in terms of fitness. I think I will be fine to play week in, week out if the boss picks me.”