Simpson is setting his sights on playing for a promotion-winning squad in E10
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO
Former Arsenal man admits division will be tough, but hopeful that Orient can bounce straight back to League One
Jay Simpson would love to score the goals that earn Leyton Orient promotion this year, but says League Two will not be easy.
The 26-year-old moved to Brisbane Road last season, signing a three-year deal, but endured a frustrating first campaign with the O’s.
Simpson was unable to prevent relegation, but is determined to see them bounce back at the first attempt under Ian Hendon.
After scoring twice at Woking on Tuesday night during Orient’s 4-0 triumph against the National League side, confidence is flowing again for Simpson.
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He said: “Everyone wants to go back up. We didn’t want to get relegated, nobody wanted that, but we are in League Two now and have to pull our socks up.
“It is going to be difficult, but we want to get promoted. All the teams in the division would love to achieve that and we are no different. We want to go up at the first time of asking.”
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Simpson has never played at this level before, but does know the league fairly well.
He lists Arsenal, Hull City, Millwall, Queens Park Rangers, West Bromwich Albion and Thai side Buriram United as his former clubs so how much does he know about life in League Two and what to expect this season?
“Before I came to Orient and before I went abroad to Thailand I had a lot of chances to watch football in this division,” he said.
“A few of my friends were playing for Dagenham & Redbridge so I got down there quite a lot to watch matches.
“It is a very difficult league, it is very physical, but the way we are set up this year, the structure and the understanding we have, I think we are going to create plenty of chances.”
Simpson is the only forward at the club from last season, with Hendon signing Ollie Palmer and Paul McCallum to boost Orient’s firepower.
All three strikers have found the net at least twice this summer and they will hope to take that form into the new campaign as well.
“Throughout pre-season we have created a lot of chances and hopefully when we go into the league we continue that,” added Simpson, who scored eight times for O’s last year.
“We’ve got great delivery from out wide, we are starting to link up the play between our midfielders and our front men. We will create chances and hopefully we’ll put them in the back of the net.”
Orient have been doing that in pre-season and Simpson’s finishes on Tuesday showed he is confident and back in form, but how many goals is he aiming for this year?
He added: “I always set targets, short term and long term, but I like to keep them to myself so I’ll reach the short term and then set a new one.”
Hopefully by May 7 he has reached that target and Orient are celebrating after achieving promotion.