Leyton Orient manager Andy Hessenthaler confident they can clear first League Two hurdle at Cheltenham Town
PUBLISHED: 09:00 05 August 2016
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Experienced boss is backing his squad to cope with pressure this year and believes the Robins will be ready for Saturday’s opener
Andy Hessenthaler insists all the pressure will be on Leyton Orient this weekend when they get their League Two campaign underway, but he believes they have more than enough about them to handle it.
The O’s have recruited well this summer and brought in a number of strong characters who are likely to start at newly-promoted Cheltenham Town on Saturday.
Gary Johnson’s Robins won the National League title last year and Orient are likely to face a passionate crowd at Whaddon Road as the hosts return to the Football League.
Hessenthaler knows the east Londoners will be ready for whatever is to come and feels they’re building a good group at Brisbane Road.
He said: “The pressure is on, that is what three points and winning games brings for us as a coaching staff and for the players.
“We’ve got to go out and produce now, but I’ve been pleased with pre-season and I believe we’re building something here with the new faces.
“Whether it will be straight away with us getting promoted – that’s our aim – but I feel as though the dressing room is important and we’ve got some good characters in there.”
Hessenthaler was with Johnson last Thursday when all the managers in the division met up ahead of the new campaign.
Both said they were ready at the time, although the Robins lost 3-0 on Sunday at Bristol Rovers with the Cheltenham boss insisting afterwards they were “well off” from where they would like to be.
Orient believe they are in a good position to tackle the Robins, however, and Hessenthaler is pleased pre-season has come to an end.
He added: “I saw Gary at the managers’ meeting on Thursday and he said ‘I’ll see you soon’ and felt he was ready to go.
“All the managers are ready now and the players are too because sometimes the pre-season stuff can become a little bit false.
“The onus will be on us, we’ll be favourites I’m sure because they’ve just come up, but it will be tough.
“They probably watched us last weekend against Charlton and come Saturday at three o’clock we’ll be ready and I’m sure Gary will be.”
After facing Cheltenham, the O’s will prepare to host Championship outfit Fulham on Tuesday (August 9) in the first round of the English Football League Cup, but their first focus is on starting strongly in League Two.