Orient eager to hit ground running insists Wilkinson

PUBLISHED: 13:00 10 September 2020

Conor Wilkinson of Orient during Northampton Town vs Leyton Orient, Friendly Match Football at the PTS Academy Stadium on 22nd August 2020

Conor Wilkinson of Orient during Northampton Town vs Leyton Orient, Friendly Match Football at the PTS Academy Stadium on 22nd August 2020

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Leyton Orient attacker Conor Wilkinson is eager to hit the ground running when they start the 2020-21 League Two season away to Oldham Athletic this weekend.

Dan Happe of Orient during Northampton Town vs Leyton Orient, Friendly Match Football at the PTS Academy Stadium on 22nd August 2020Dan Happe of Orient during Northampton Town vs Leyton Orient, Friendly Match Football at the PTS Academy Stadium on 22nd August 2020

The O’s travel to Boundary Park on Saturday as Ross Embleton’s men look to build on their 2-1 Carabao Cup victory over league rivals Forest Green Rovers at the weekend.

They found themselves 1-0 down early on thanks to a Dan Happe own goal, but second-half goals from Danny Johnson and Wilkinson bagged them a spot in the hat for the second round.

And they subsequently drew out Plymouth Argyle at home, with a potential mouthwatering clash against Premier League Tottenham Hotspur awaiting the winners in the third round.

“We want to hit the ground running,” former Dagenham & Redbridge striker Wilkinson told the club website.

“Most importantly I think it was good that we got off to a good start. Obviously it’s nice to win and it puts us in the right direction for next week for the first game of the season.

“I don’t think the lads understand how effective we can be when we go up against teams. In the first half we sat off a bit and I don’t think we were up to speed, then second half we came out and realised if we go up against them they’re not going to be anywhere near as good as us.

“In the first five to 10 minutes we realised that. We got up against them, and everything started to fall for us.”

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The Irishman was pleased to see his impressive solo effort pay off.

“I would say luck, but I do try doing it all the time, and sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn’t,” he smiled.

And Wilkinson also praised the finish of fellow attacker Johnson, adding: “Danny has been in a good run of form, he’s been sharp in training, and obviously the chance has come for him today (Saturday) and he’s taken it.”

Wilkinson insisted the first-half chat among the players and what manager Embleton told them really paid off.

“First half we reassessed and said ‘lads we’re not up to speed here’,” he added.

“They were getting too much of the ball, second balls they were winning and they were getting in behind us.

“We had that chat and second half it seemed to fall for us.

“It was from everyone in general. Everyone said where we felt we were going wrong.”

The O’s were due to face Brighton & Hove Albion under-21s in their first match of this season’s EFL Trophy last night (Tuesday).

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