Leyton Orient manager Andy Edwards aims to keep momentum ahead of tough tests
PUBLISHED: 10:00 30 December 2016
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Cambridge United visit Brisbane Road before east Londoners have a long trip to Exeter City on January 2
Andy Edwards has urged Leyton Orient to keep their positive form at Brisbane Road going when Cambridge United visit on Saturday for a 1pm kick-off.
Sam Dalby’s first goal for the club and a Paul McCallum brace helped see off Crawley Town 3-2 on Boxing Day and made it back-to-back wins at home.
With the U’s travelling down the M11 on New Year’s Eve and Orient also facing the lengthy trip to Exeter City on Monday, Edwards wants his team to keep their momentum.
He said: “Beating Crawley takes a little bit of pressure off for when Cambridge visit, but obviously we want to get a win or a positive result and it would be great to get a run going.
“Monday’s victory just gives us more confidence because we have won our last game at home and we showed a real fighting spirit at Wycombe Wanderers.
“Our first-half performance against Crawley was the best of the season so far and the second half wasn’t so good, but it was about the result.”
The O’s victory over Crawley means they have won successive games at Brisbane Road for the first time since August 2015.
Cambridge will provide a different type of test with the U’s currently on a five-match winning streak in League Two.
Edwards believes the form of Saturday’s opponents can provide Orient with inspiration for the rest of the campaign.
When Cambridge lost 2-1 to Wycombe on November 19, they were just two points above the bottom two in 19th position.
Fast forward to now and Shaun Derry’s team are seventh in the standings and 13 points off the relegation places.
“You look at Cambridge, Stevenage and Yeovil Town. At points of the season they were all down there,” said Edwards.
“They have put runs together so the lines are very fine in all divisions and especially League Two.
“We can’t get carried away with ourselves yet because it has been a tough campaign and we have two 17-year-olds on the pitch in Dalby and Myles Judd.
“Our right-back, Nicky Hunt, is playing left-back because our only left-back, Callum Kennedy, is out injured and we have a lad in Teddy Mezague making his full debut in the centre after eight months out.
“We have to be realistic, but we have a decent squad which in an ideal world we can add to in January and give us a boost.”
Since the appointment of Edwards, Dalby has been given his opportunity and other young players at the club have been sent on loan to get more experience.
Orient’s manager insists he picks the team on merit and knows how important the senior professionals will be between now and May.
Edwards: “If they are good enough they will play. Nicky’s 33 so if you are good enough you play.
“I’m talking about the youngsters’ ages, but I think we need to pick and judge them on merit and you do need a balance.
“The senior players have got a massive part to play, but to have that young enthusiasm, will to succeed and a lack of fear is great.”
Cambridge have former Orient right-back Elliot Omozusi in their squad, yet the 28-year-old is unlikely to feature at Brisbane Road.
Omozusi hasn’t made a single appearance for U’s this season after suffering a broken foot during pre-season.