Leyton Orient boosted by potential returns of Smyth and Drinan for Salford trip

Charlton Athletic's Paul Smyth (left) controls the ball during the Sky Bet League One match at Westo

Charlton Athletic's Paul Smyth (left) controls the ball during the Sky Bet League One match at Weston Homes Stadium, Peterborough. Picture date: Tuesday January 19, 2021. - Credit: PA

Leyton Orient manager Kenny Jackett has been boosted by the potential returns from injury of Paul Smyth and Aaron Drinan for his first league fixture in charge of the club. 

The O’s will travel away to Salford City on the opening day of the League Two season (Saturday, August 7) but there was fears that the new manager could be without two of his new signings after picking up knocks during pre-season. 

“I think they’ll be ok, they trained this week and I'm positive about their progress, and their availability at the weekend,” Jackett said. 

West Ham United's Fabian Balbuena (left) and Ipswich Town's Aaron Drinan battle for the ball during

West Ham United's Fabian Balbuena (left) and Ipswich Town's Aaron Drinan battle for the ball during the pre-season friendly match at Portman Road, Ipswich. - Credit: PA

“It’s (Pre-season) gone very well, we’re trying to get as many people as fit and available for that, as you would expect. 

“It’s been a hard working pre-season, the cohesion of the team has been good, we’ve got a lot of new signings and obviously a new manager and a new coaching staff as well.” 


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The former Millwall boss feels the first two months of the new campaign will be vital and determine how good the make up of his squad is. 

“If you look at the fixtures throughout August and September, by the end of the September, we will have an idea of exactly where we are. There is a wide range of games in that period, some tough away games, some big games as is the Salford one. 

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“In that two month period there is a wide range of games that will give us a clear idea of exactly where we are in this division and I'm looking forward to it.” 

Orient know it’s a tough start as they come up against the promotion favourites Salford on the opening day, where they also played on the final day of last season and suffered a 3-0 defeat, and of course they’ll want to do better than that this time around. 

“Leyton Orient played there at the end of last season in the last game and it was a 3-0 win to Salford so we obviously want to improve on that. We also want to improve on that performance in that particular game, but that’s the point of a new season that you get a fresh start. 

“We want to go up there and do a lot better obviously.” 

Jackett also spoke about the team’s playing style and says he doesn’t set in stone any formation. 

“You’re always working to try finding a way, people always talk about a formation, but you want to find a way that suits the players and then in terms of recruitment you can start to add the parts that maybe you don’t have. 

“By the time the games come around you want a well balanced squad that can sustain a challenge throughout 45-50 games.” 

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