Orient players need to step up in Mooney absence - Slade
PUBLISHED: 09:55 14 December 2013 | UPDATED: 09:55 14 December 2013
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Orient boss Russell Slade hopes his players will step up to the plate in the absence of suspended top scorer David Mooney when the League One leaders visit Bradford this afternoon.
The Irish striker is banned for three games after ‘uncharacteristically’ kicking out at Walsall defender Paul Downing at the end of the 1-0 FA Cup win last weekend.
With Kevin Lisbie struggling with an ankle injury, it leaves the O’s manager with a striking dilemma.
Slade said: “It was very unlike David. He’s got an exemplary disciplinary record, but he’s let his team-mates down.
“It will be difficult. How do you replace almost 30 goals?
“But we’ve got other players who can come forward. Dean Cox is in good form and Shaun Batt and Moses Odubajo have been playing well, so we’ll cope.”
As well as the trip to Bradford, Mooney is suspended for games against Crawley and Gillingham before returning for the top of the table clash with Wolves after Christmas.
Saturday’s win earned his side a trip to Yeovil in the third round – a club Slade knows well, managing the Glovers for almost three years which included the 2007 League One play-off final.
“I’m sure both of us wanted a big Premier League team, but it wasn’t to be,” said Slade. “Yeovil is a tough place to go, they’re fighting in the Championship, but we’re confident.
“Everything is about momentum. We don’t distinguish between the league and the cup.” Slade wasn’t on the touchline for the Walsall game – a tough experience for the animated manager, but he expects to be back to business at Bradford.
The eighth-placed Bantams have their own hotshot in 14-goal Bermudan striker Nahki Wells, but the Orient boss is confident his side can continue their excellent away form.
“I want to be out there on the touchline so I’ll be back for Bradford,” said Slade.
“It will be a difficult game, but we’re going there for three points.”
Nathan Clarke and Scott Cuthbert, who missed the FA Cup game, are fit to return.