Palmer pleased with his role after helping O’s draw
PUBLISHED: 12:00 21 September 2015
Simon O'Connor Photography
Former Mansfield forward delighted to win man of the match, hopes to get into starting team and talks about penalty incident
Ollie Palmer may have only come on at half time against Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday, but the impact of the Leyton Orient forward was enough to earn him the man of the match award.
The 23-year-old is yet to start in League Two this season, but has been introduced off the substitute’s bench in every fixture.
He has also started both matches in the Capital One Cup and the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, but at the weekend was finally given a lengthy time to demonstrate his ability in the division and the former Mansfield striker grasped it with both hands.
Immediately after his introduction, Palmer was putting himself about and letting the Wycombe defender know they would be in for a tough test.
That proved to be the case and it was the battling qualities of the attacker that contributed towards Jay Simpson equalising for Ian Hendon’s team in the 67th minute.
Although the O’s weren’t able to find a winner in the final 23 minutes, Palmer was delighted with his contribution.
He said: “I really appreciate the fans backing and getting man of the match does mean a lot to me and is good for my confidence.
“I want to kick on, I want to starting winning games and want to be involved in a winning team, which I am. I love this club, it is a great club and I am really enjoying my football.
“That is without me starting games so hopefully that will only get better if I get in the starting XI.”
Palmer has only remained as an impact substitute because of how well Paul McCallum and Jay Simpson began the campaign.
Simpson has been on fire and has six goals in eight league starts this season, which leaves him as the second top goalscorer of the division.
McCallum began the campaign by scoring three times in the first four matches, but hasn’t found the net since August 22 and therefore the pressure is building on Palmer to be picked over the former West Ham forward.
“Paul and Jay done well at the beginning of the year and they both had good pre-seasons so I had to be patient,” admitted Palmer.
“I think getting a strong 45 against Wycombe, not just a 20-minute run out, showed what I am capable of, but everyone is fighting for places here.
“We have got a very small squad, but a good squad with some really talented individuals. We want to keep everyone fit and keep the competition feisty.”
Saturday’s match was full of drama for Palmer in particular and he might have conceded a penalty late on when a coming together occurred between the O’s forward and Wanderers skipper Matt Bloomfield.
The away captain went to the ground and asked for a spot-kick to be awarded, but referee James Linington was unmoved.
Palmer conceded it was a nervy moment, adding: “It was a little bit heart in mouth time, but that was just me trying to be positive and break away.
“Luckily, well I don’t think it was a penalty. He does go down early, yes their might have been a little bit of contact, but he does go down early. They had a few dives throughout that game and the referee was quite wise to that.”
You could argue that Palmer got a bit lucky in that instance, but the 23-year-old deserved that after his excellent display. Now if he continues to impress during training this week, he’ll definitely warrant a starting berth at Northampton Town on Saturday.
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