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Monday, 6 April 2009

Leyton Orient v Leeds United preview

We are now well into the "squeaky bum" part of the season and matches are coming thick and fast.  Orient are the 2nd of 4 crucial games in 10 days that will decide if we have any chance of an automatic promotion spot.  If we have bagged 4 wins out of 4  after our Easter Monday midday kick off against the Foxes then the Leeds juggernaut will truly be on an unstoppable run that just might achieve promotion without the delights of a nerve shredding day at Wembley.  So after our conquest of a plucky Colchester team we now have to dispatch Leyton Orient in a match originally canceled due to a snow covered pitch.  Orient's home form is bizarrely a lot worse than their away form so the chances of the mighty whites extending their unbeaten run to 10 games should be high.  Sounds easy doesn't it but before we get carried away answer this. What have Northampton Town, Southend United and Hereford United all got in common?  The answer is they are the teams we have played the three previous times we've had an away league match on a Tuesday night this season......................and yes you guessed correct............we've lost the lot!  So despite our unbeaten run that has spawned supreme confidence in the players and fans alike I will be just a tad nervous until we have a comfortable two goal cushion at The Matchroom Stadium, or as real Football fans know it Brisbane Road.
Of course for Leeds to go up automatically we need other teams to slip up and whilst the Posh go from strength to strength Leicester are the latest of the top teams who appear to have hit a sticky patch of form at this crucial part of the season.  Back in January when we lost to Hereford we were 22 points adrift from the then runaway leaders and now the gap is only 12 and with our visit to The Cheese & Onion Stadium on Easter Monday it's possible that we could be just 3 points behind them.....................but a weeks a long time in Football so at the risk of sounding like Motty I'm taking one match at a time and concentrating on returning from the long trek to East London with another three points deposited in the promotion account.
Hopefully the team will be unchanged from Saturday although there were a few walking wounded after the battle with the Us.  I'm waiting for a goal from our new cult hero, Sammy "I'll head anything" SodOff as a reward for his all action style and commitment to the cause.  It's a significant point that what used to be our Achilles heal, the centre of defence, now looks as solid as anything I've seen in this league stoutly led by Bam Bam Naylor.  Huge credit for this change should also go to Dougie who has slotted into right back as if he's played there for years and what he lacks in pace he more than makes up for in his vision and reading of the game in that position.  He's also deservedly been nominated for the team of the week after Saturday's game.
So tomorrow we will be driving back down the M11 to the Smoke for the latest installment of this enthralling season.  One thing for sure the guy at Cambridge services will be pleased.  When I filled up the car on the way back from Colchester he asked "how many more Leeds fans will there be" after being deluged with happy mighty Whites fans.  When I commented that we would be back on Tuesday for the Orient game he rubbed his hands and muttered something about getting extra staff in...........................and we're not famous anymore?

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