Concentration key for Clarke
PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 March 2015
Simon O'Connor Photography
Orient captain in positive mood
Leyton Orient captain Nathan Clarke wants his side to use Barnsley as inspiration in their fight for League One survival.
Clarke returned to the starting line-up against the Tykes in midweek, when O’s dominated a 0-0 draw at Brisbane Road.
And with a crunch meeting at relegation rivals Crawley up next on Saturday, the centre-back wants Fabio Liverani’s men to maintain the feel-good factor.
He said: “They’ve been on a fantastic run Barnsley. It wasn’t too long ago they were close by us at one point and it just shows what a run of wins can do. It can lift you to safety.
“We’ve just to concentrate on ourselves. If we keep going out there and playing the way we did we can certainly achieve what we want to do.
“The aim is to win as many games as we can now, until the end of the season. We’ve got to concentrate on ourselves and keep being positive.”
Two early goals helped O’s to a 3-0 win over Yeovil on Saturday, but they have actually lost ground at the bottom and are now three points adrift of safety.
Crawley twice came from behind to win at Port Vale in midweek, but Clarke said the mood in the dressing room is still upbeat.
He added: “It’s frustrating, but it’s down to us. If we win and keep involved in all the games we’ve got coming up now we’re confident enough we can go on and do something this season and get out.
“If we stick together, we can certainly do that. The boys were unbelievable against Yeovil, straight from the off. We got an important win against a team that’s struggling and we will be looking to do the same on Saturday.
“It’s a couple of wins and people playing a run of games, Jobi (McAnuff) has been excellent the past few games, Josh (Wright) has been unbelievable for us in that midfield role. It’s people getting a run of games and getting the confidence up in that way. You can certainly see that now.”
Clarke came in for the injured Mathieu Baudry in midweek and, despite being on the wrong end of a bad tackle that saw Milan Lalkovic sent off, is hoping to keep his place in the side against Crawley. He added: “I’ve got a bit of a gash on the shin, but it’s not too bad. When you’ve not played for a while, you’re desperate to keep yourself fit and healthy.
“When you’re given your chance you’ve got to try and take it. I felt I did okay and hopefully I’m in the manager’s thoughts for Saturday. The partnership with Scotty (Cuthbert) was good and the clean sheet. It’s just unfortunate we didn’t get the win.
“If we can concentrate on keeping the strikers quiet, we’ve got every chance because the front four of ours certainly cause problems. We’ve got to be focused and do our homework now on the next match.”