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Leyton Orient v Oldham Athletic – Sky Bet League Two – Breyer Group Stadium – Saturday (3pm) – Preview
It has to be said, there is a complete change of persona at Leyton Orient these days.
Sure, manager, Kenny Jackett as well as the E10 faithful will be quick to admit that their charges are still evolving. Nevertheless, this has been a satisfactory start to their Sky Bet League Two campaign and former frontman, Peter Kitchen, for one, is cautiously optimistic with what he has so far seen.
The O’s welcome struggling Oldham Athletic to the Breyer Group Stadium on Saturday: “For the first time in quite a while, I feel very confident that there is a culture change in the air and that the old Orient – who can raise expectations but then not turn up – won’t be in evidence,” Kitch told Yellow Sport.
“Primarily, that is because they now have a manager who simply won’t allow complacency to creep in. Jackett will see this game as the ideal opportunity to build further momentum against a team that are there for the taking. Anything less than an emphatic win will be a huge disappointment.”
Orient supporters were well-rehearsed in uncertainty, largely before the current hierarchy took the reins at Brisbane Road. Indeed, Kitch suggested Oldham’s current plight is a timely reminder of what might have been, had Nigel Travis and Kent Teague, backed by a loyal fan base not come to the rescue four years ago: “Oldham were founder members of the Premier League back in 1992-93, spending four seasons in the top-flight,” Kitchen added.
“But seemingly, a lack of vision, investment and poor ownership over the years has seen the Latics slip alarmingly. Currently, they are languishing next to bottom of the EFL. A recent morale-boosting 2-1 win at fellow strugglers, Sutton United was swiftly extinguished as Barrow handed them a three-goal trouncing at Boundary Park last weekend. Worrying times for Oldham supporters – With everything we went through in mind, I’m sure O’s fans will sympathise.”
But as far as Saturday goes, Kitch insisted it is all about Orient’s continued progress and three precious points: “Jackett is assembling a squad of players with depth, strength and ambition. We are playing at a high tempo and with intensity – trying to win every game. It’s evident that there’s a belief amongst the players in what the Manager is trying to do, it’s what all successful teams must-have.
“We look solid and organised at the back. From midfield, we are getting men and the ball forward much quicker. In Harry Smith, we have a player who presents an aerial threat that is very difficult to defend against or cope with. His presence alone will cause defenders problems, especially if the service is good and the support players get near him to pick up the second ball.”
Kitchen concluded: “Oldham Manager, Keith Curle will demand fight and will deploy a rearguard action, determined to make it difficult for us.
But I very much doubt they will be able to contain a confident Orient who I believe are too strong and will look to push on towards the play-off places, particularly in front of their home fans
Peter Kitchen’s prediction: Leyton Orient 3-0 Oldham Athletic
Jeevesie’s prediction: Leyton Orient 3-1 Oldham Athletic