Leyton Orient v Salford City – Sky Bet League Two – Breyer Group Stadium – Saturday 3pm – Preview
Peter Kitchen is expecting a far harder test for Leyton Orient when old adversaries Salford City visit E10 on Saturday.
The O’s comfortably saw off troubled Southend United during the week, ending a three-match losing sequence and lifting them within two points of the play-off places in the process.
“Whilst the Shrimpers looked every bit a team propping up the rest of the league, they’ve been on a mini-revival, having put together a run of five without defeat,” Kitchen told Yellow Sport.
“Orient approached the game with the right attitude. The result offered much-needed optimism – It had to be won.”
Sixth-placed Salford arrives in the capital unbeaten in five and looking every bit promotion contenders: “This will be a much sterner test,” Kitchen continued.
“Richie Wellens has come in as manager and made them a tighter, altogether more consistent unit. And with games in hand on the teams above them, they will be fancying a promotion push in the New Year.
“We will have to match them in terms of strength, aggression and organisation before earning the right to play neat passing football. It’s certainly a game we must win, not only as a statement of intent to those above us but also simply to keep us hot on the heels of the chasing pack.
Kitchen added: “We were fifth in the table ahead of the Scunthorpe game at the start of December. I said then, seven games in a month – including the EFL Trophy tie with Bristol Rovers – would determine our season and whether our play-off aspirations are realistic.
“Four league defeats during that sequence displayed inconsistency – the main problem facing Head Coach, Ross Embleton. Personally, I think we desperately require a couple of players in the window who can provide quality and knowhow in a difficult, ruthless division. Failing that, for me, it’s a mid-table finish. I know O’s fans won’t like me saying that. but it’s honest and realistic – it puts our season, so far, into perspective. Nevertheless,
“On a positive note, given the year the club has gone through and with still more to face in terms of the pandemic and financial pressures this will probably be acceptable for the fans and the clubs’ owners.”
Peter Kitchen’s prediction: Leyton Orient 1-2 Salford City
Jeevesie’s prediction: Leyton Orient 2-3 Salford City