Leyton Orient v Tottenham Hotspur – Carabao Cup third-round – Breyer Group Stadium – Tuesday 6pm – Preview
Peter Kitchen is as confused as any Leyton Orient and Tottenham Hotspur supporter as to whether this evening’s Carabao Cup third-round tie will go ahead.
Speculation has been rife since the O’s announce that a number of their squad had rested positive for COVID-19, leaving fans waiting nervously over the potential outcome.
“At the moment, I don’t know if we will play or hand the tie to Tottenham,” the former frontman told Yellow Sport.
“Most important is the well-being of the O’s players in question. Their health is of greater concern than the result of a football match. However, if we have to field a younger, less experienced side, then at least we have a football match. I think it would be sad if Spurs can progress unchallenged.”
Kitchen explained just why the game is so important to the League Two club: “What with the Harry Kane connection, a big local rival and, of course, Jose Mourinho, it is a game which captures the imagination. Obviously, a crowd present would be perfect, but with Sky set to cover the contest, It’s a chance for whoever is selected to show the nation what they are capable of.
“Mourinho previously confirmed that Dele Alli will play, although a hectic schedule I’d imagine, if we have a game, we will only see a Spurs shadow squad. Nevertheless, there will still be some talent amongst them. Whoever features for Orient shouldn’t have an issue with motivation. It’s an opportunity to test themselves against a Premier League squad.
Kitchen continued: “By the time people are reading this, I’m sure a decision, either way, will have been made. But if we are to play, Orient must remain resolute and try to stay in the game as long as possible –
gradually build confidence by playing themselves into the contest.
“Playing against footballers from a higher division hasn’t changed over the years. You have to work hard, unsettle them and fight for every ball – just as you would in a run of the mill domestic league fixture.
“As I said before, I just hope we have a game and the boys selected can give us a performance we can be proud of.”