Simpson smiling after Orient’s opening win
- Credit: Archant
Former Arsenal forward discusses Ian Hendon’s half time team talk, getting off the mark and Barnet’s game plan
Jay Simpson was delighted to get off the mark for Leyton Orient in their League Two opener against Barnet on Saturday and revealed head coach Ian Hendon’s advice at half time.
The O’s were level with Martin Allen’s Bees at the break and the first period had seen the visitors create some good opportunities at Brisbane Road.
Hendon’s side held firm, though, and after the interval played more football and were on the front foot throughout the second half.
It therefore came as no surprise when Simpson opened the scoring in the 74th minute and Paul McCallum doubled that advantage shortly afterwards.
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Orient’s first goalscorer of the new campaign was thrilled with the win and praised Hendon, he said: “The gaffer was just telling us to stick with it at half time, match them physically and with our work rate, and then to try and get the ball down and play and show our quality.
“He was on to us about that and we came out for the second half and tried to play a bit more.
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“Barnet set up really well and it was hard to break them down so once we did score, it was nice to get the second. If you are one nil up and they nick a goal it flips everything so it was nice to get the second straight after.”
McCallum’s strike settled the nerves inside Brisbane Road and confidence is high now in the O’s camp.
It might have been different had Michael Gash scored when present with a great opportunity in the 15th minute for the visitors.
The Barnet forward failed to hit the target from inside the box, though, and Orient were left smiling at the full time whistle.
Simpson added: “It is nice to start off the new season with a win. To get three points, it sets us up well.
“Confidence will be high now and we’ll be looking forward to the game on Tuesday against MK Dons and putting the work in again on Saturday at Dagenham.
“Barnet had a really good chance where it was cut back across the box in the first half so we were fortunate they didn’t score and grateful that we could go on and nick a goal ourselves and then go on and get another.
“I know last year was very disappointing, there were a few cracks and I know the fans were disappointed. But hopefully this year we can have a good season and get back up.”