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Joe Widdowson praises impact of Leyton Orient's new additions after recent three-match unbeaten run

PUBLISHED: 17:00 15 February 2018 | UPDATED: 17:29 15 February 2018

Joe Widdowson in action for Leyton Orient against Dover Athletic (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Joe Widdowson in action for Leyton Orient against Dover Athletic (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

The 28-year-old reflected on O's latest results, the gap between themselves and the bottom four and the upcoming trips to AFC Fylde and Chester

Joe Widdowson believes the increased competition at Leyton Orient has helped them put together a three-match unbeaten run in all competitions.

Since losing 3-2 at home to Aldershot Town on January 27, the O’s have won at Halifax Town (2-1) and Dover Athletic (4-3) and held Tranmere Rovers to a 1-1 draw at Brisbane Road last Saturday.

Considering both the Whites and Rovers are pushing for the play-offs, that’s a decent run of form.

Widdowson believes the recent additions to the Orient squad have ensured everyone keeps performing to a high level.

He said: “I thought it was a good performance and a decent result last weekend against Tranmere, so confidence is pretty high right now.

“The form of late has been good and we have had a few new additions recently and I think that has given the group a bit of extra life because the squad is more competitive now and people have to perform to keep their place in the team.”

When Justin Edinburgh took over on November 29, the O’s were only one spot above the bottom four, but they have moved up to 17th now and have a six-point cushion over 21st-placed Solihull Moors.

There is still work to be done though, Widdowson added: “We need to make that gap as big as we can and obviously keep trying to get wins on the board and pull further away.

“We want to look up. No one is happy with our position in the league and we just want to have a strong finish to the season and keep putting points on the board.”

The next week will see O’s have two chances to try and put further distance between themselves and the relegation zone.

On Saturday Orient will visit in-form AFC Fylde at Mill Farm and a tough encounter is expected.

Edinburgh’s team then visit lowly Chester on Tuesday with the Blues second bottom and struggling off the field.

O’s will rack up the miles over the next few days, but Widdowson is keen to approach both fixtures with a positive mindset.

The 28-year-old said: “As far as I know, we will come back after the Fylde game and travel on the day to Chester, so two long trips, but that’s just how the fixture list has fallen.

“There is not much we can do about it. We have just got to obviously prepare right and have a positive mindset going into both games.”

Orient’s first focus is on Fylde this weekend and the Coasters boss Dave Challinor said last Saturday they want to try and remain in the top-seven.

After winning the National League North title last season, the Mill Farm club have fared impressively since promotion.

Widdowson said: “They are having a very good campaign and they beat us at home (2-1, September 30) and played really well, so I am sure it will be a tough game.

“They have probably performed above expectations this season and it will be difficult, especially away from home.”

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