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Southend draw has boosted O's belief according to centre back Coulson

PUBLISHED: 15:30 31 July 2018

Leyton Orient centre back Josh Coulson

Leyton Orient centre back Josh Coulson

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Justin Edinburgh’s team only lost once in pre-season while on Saturday new forward James Alabi netted in E10 for the first time

Craig Robson of Dagenham & Redbridge and James Alabi of Chester battle for the ball (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo).Craig Robson of Dagenham & Redbridge and James Alabi of Chester battle for the ball (pic: David Simpson/TGS Photo).

Leyton Orient centre back Josh Coulson believes confidence is high heading into the new National League campaign.

Justin Edinburgh’s team ended pre-season with a 2-2 draw at home to League One outfit Southend United on Saturday.

The O’s have been tested this summer and only lost once, 5-4 to Benfica B, but won at Harlow Town (7-0), East Thurrock United (4-0) and Concord Rangers (3-2).

St Albans City (1-1) and Southend held them to draws, but Orient are optimistic about what they can achieve over the next 10 months of competition.

Coulson said: “Some of the players we have come up against suggest the so-called smaller teams are not small.

“Concord had some very good players, St Albans are always good, so they have been tough games.

“Saturday was a game against League One opposition so a couple of levels above us and it was nice to test ourselves and come away with a positive result. It gives us some confidence.”

The former Cambridge United defender was impressed with Orient’s character last weekend during the friendly with Southend.

O’s trailed at first to Jason Demetriou’s stunning 14th-minute strike and even though Macauley Bonne levelled from the spot, Tom Hopper put Blues back in front with 63 on the clock.

Edinburgh’s team again produced a response and James Alabi’s equaliser 13 minutes from time ensured they ended pre-season with a positive result.

“Obviously this fixture was a League One game not long ago, but we are where we are,” said Coulson.

“I think the boys showed a lot of character, we obviously come back twice and we have got a draw against a good League One side.”

Coulson continued: “This pre-season has been a tough one! This is my 11th I think and they don’t get easier.

“But we have worked hard, really hard, and on Saturday showed how fit we are and how good this pre-season has been for us.”

Another sign of encouragement for O’s on Saturday was a home goal for Alabi on his first appearance at the Breyer Group Stadium.

It was his fifth strike of the summer, but his first in front of the Orient faithful and team-mate Coulson discussed what he is like in training.

He added: “Hopefully the goal settles him down. It was a brilliant finish and he took it very calmly, so let’s hope he scores more like that this season.

“I play against him in training and it is not nice! He is a big, strong lad and he can get through players.

“He won the penalty against Southend, which ‘Macca’ tucked away nicely, and then got his rewards for his hard work with a goal, so it was great for him.”

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