O's boss wants staff and players to know how big the rivalry is with Southend United

Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff celebrates as his effort is deflected in against Crawley Town - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Leyton Orient head coach Ross Embleton revealed he has encouraged his staff and players to realise the rivalry between them and Southend United ahead of this evening’s clash. 

The O’s will welcome The Shrimpers to the Breyer Group Stadium (7pm kick-off) as they look to bounce back from three consecutive defeats. 

The boss was eager to make sure the players know the scope of the fixture and what it means to the fans as he’ll be absent once again due to being in self-isolation. 

“Too right, it’s something that people are fully aware of, we’ve been without real big derbies for a while and I suppose we tried to create one in the National League against Dagenham & Redbridge. 

“We know the games against Southend are always going to be big ones, people are aware, the players will be aware and I'll be driving the staff and players in terms of understanding that and knowing what their responsibilities are to go out and get a result. 


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“It’s a massive result for us as fans and people that want the club to do well, added to that it’s a big game in terms of us getting back on track.” 

Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Leyton Orient midfielder Craig Clay shielding Crawley Town's Sam Matthews away from the ball - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Southend United started the season slowly after being relegated to League Two but have now started to find their feet as they’re five games unbeaten. 

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“Probably a difficult thing for some people to hear me say, but Mark Molesey is someone that I worked with at Bournemouth, he was still a player when I worked there and when he took that job I knew he was jumping from doing so well in the National League South to a big job like that at Southend. 

“It’s obviously been very difficult for him in terms of the start to his run at that club, I know there is a big rivalry between the two teams, but they’ve certainly turned things around in recent weeks. 

“The league is full of that, teams beating each other, and creating different results. Wins against teams against teams that people don’t expect them to come against. 

“They’re a team on a good run at the moment, but we’ve got our own focuses, and things we want to get back to doing better.” 

Embleton did admit training has not been ideal in the build up to this fixture without being allowed to attend himself. 

“Horrible again, back on Zoom calls more than I would like, but I think like everything we’ve got to embrace and try to make the best of the scenario I've found myself in and therefore everyone else has found themselves in. 

“I think what is important for people to understand is, of course me being the head coach, the final call on a decision to pick a certain player or play a certain formation sits with me and that’s my responsibility. 

“The way we operate now and have operated, certainly since I've been at the club, is a real variation of people’s inputs. 

“Everybody has a say and a suggestion on what they feel is the right thing for the team, that’s training, selection, substitutes and a variety of different things. 

“All of my staff are included in that. I want them to step forward and feel comfortable making those decisions.” 

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