Joe Widdowson played crucial role in Leyton Orient and Dagenham & Redbridge's FA Cup stalemate
PUBLISHED: 18:00 16 October 2017
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The defender reflects on goalless draw at Victoria Road and what the FA Cup means to him and the squad
Leyton Orient left-back Joe Widdowson admitted he tried to do everything he could to give his current team the upper-hand before Saturday’s FA Cup tie at his old club Dagenham & Redbridge.
The former West Ham United youngster moved to Brisbane Road in the summer after making more than a 100 appearances in all competitions for Daggers.
Widdowson managed to come away from Victoria Road with something of a moral victory after managing to stop his ex-team-mates scoring, as the fourth qualifying round tie ended goalless.
He said: “I had to try and let everyone know as much as I could about each player, so we could try and stop them.
“Obviously Dagenham have a lot of threats and so I think we did well to nullify them and keep a clean sheet. We maybe rode our luck a bit at times, but we were worth the clean sheet in the end.”
Widdowson once again played in an unfamiliar role as part of three centre backs in a back five.
After doing the same at Barrow during a 2-2 draw, Orient are now unbeaten in the two games they’ve started with a 3-5-2/5-3-2 formation.
The 28-year-old feels the O’s are taking baby steps in the right direction when it comes to their defending.
“As part of the back three, we need to try and keep clean sheets because that’s part of our job,” said Widdowson.
“We did that on Saturday, so it was pleasing, but I am disappointed we haven’t scored at the other end, but its one step at a time and we’ll take this going forward.”
The full-back is set to remain on the left-side of the three centre backs tomorrow night when Daggers visit Brisbane Road.
Orient will be desperate to end their eight-match run without a victory this week, but know it won’t be easy.
Widdowson added: “It will be tough, but it will be good to be at home and have home advantage. I expect it to be another good tie and a competitive game, so we need to rest up and get ready for that now.”
The O’s will discover this evening who they could potentially face in the first round of the FA Cup.
Regardless of who Orient may face, Widdowson insists the competition carries more weight anyway.
He said: “A run in the FA Cup is always great. As a player you want to try and draw a big side and the cup feels different to league football.
“It is extra special and Saturday felt like that. Both teams really wanted to win, so yes everyone loves playing in the cup.”
Orient will like the competition even more if they can end their barren run and reach the first round proper tomorrow.