First goal is key insists Leyton Orient defender Tom Parkes ahead of Doncaster Rovers trip

PUBLISHED: 10:00 25 November 2016

Leyton Orient defender Tom Parkes battles with Barnet's Shaun Batt earlier in the season (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient defender Tom Parkes battles with Barnet's Shaun Batt earlier in the season (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

The O’s visit Keepmoat Stadium to face former captain Mathieu Baudry and ex-loanee John Marquis

Leyton Orient defender Tom Parkes knows how important the first goal could be when they travel to Doncaster Rovers for their latest League Two match on Saturday.

The O’s, fresh from losing 1-0 to Exeter City on Tuesday night, head to the Keepmoat Stadium expecting an extremely tough afternoon against a team pushing for promotion.

Rovers have one of the best home records in the division with six wins and three draws from their nine games, but Andy Edwards side desperately need the points.

“Of course the first goal is key. We don’t want to go one down because it is so hard to come back from,” said Parkes following the 2-1 defeat to Blackpool at Brisbane Road.

“At the moment when teams do get the opening goal, they just sit in and it is so hard to break down. They know when we play we are a good footballing side that creates chances, but if we go behind it is so hard for us to come back from it.”

A problem for Orient this weekend is the threat Doncaster have up front, which suggests they will almost certainly breach O’s defence.

Darren Ferguson’s team have scored in every league match this campaign and found the net 35 times overall – the most in League Two.

John Marquis, who was on loan at Orient last season, has 10 goals in the division, while fellow forward Andy Williams has seven to his name.

But Parkes isn’t focused on the opposition, adding: “We have just got to take each game as it comes. If they are top or bottom it doesn’t matter.

“Whoever comes to us, or wherever we go, we just need to concentrate on playing good football and trying to get a massive three points. If we do that then we can kick on and the more we build on it, the higher up the league we can go.”

Orient are set to come up against another familiar face this weekend with ex-captain Mathieu Baudry a regular in Doncaster’s back four.

The French defender left Brisbane Road in the summer when his contract expired after four eventful years in east London.

Baudry endured a difficult start to life at Doncaster, struggling with injuries following his switch, but has started five of their last six games and should face O’s on Saturday.

Yvan Erichot, the French defender brought in to replace Orient’s former skipper, has also had a tough time and was at fault for the opening goal scored by Blackpool last weekend.

Parkes kept a clean sheet alongside the 26-year-old at Colchester United on November 12, but that was quickly forgotten after Saturday’s disappointing display.

Alberto Cavasin stuck with the diamond formation at the weekend and O’s were competitive for most of the first half, but they struggled to create many chances.

And after Blackpool doubled their lead in the 57th minute, the hosts looked void of ideas and started hitting far too many long balls.

It was a similar story against Exeter on Tuesday night and it resulted in Cavasin’s being sacked and replaced by Edwards until the end of the campaign.

Parkes does believe playing the diamond in midfield is a way Orient can enjoy success and feels it is a formation that has got the best out of Jay Simpson in the past.

Although they lost to Blackpool, the defeat was mainly down to individual errors and a failure to defend from set-pieces once again.

“We played the diamond against Colchester and got a 3-0 win. I think it is good,” said Parkes.

“The squad we’ve got is capable of playing any formation and we enjoy using the diamond. It gives us more tightness in the middle of the pitch and you don’t see many teams going through the middle of us.”

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