Date: 27th January 2006 at 3:53pm
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Martin Ling has played down his side’s chances of creating another piece of cup history when Orient travel to Premier League Charlton on Saturday. With only one away defeat this season, Orient will be full of confidence as they seek to build on their impressive performance in the previous round. Yet, Charlton will provide a mammoth obstacle for Ling’s men, and one that the O’s boss is ready to acknowledge. Speaking ahead of the game Ling said, ‘The likelihood of lightning striking twice in the same place is slim, but in the same breath I would say that at 12/1 to win the match we represent good value in a three horse race?.

Ling admits that although he and the players are relishing the task ahead, minds have already shifted to Tuesday’s game at Bristol Rovers. ‘It’s a game we’re looking forward to, but it hasn’t detracted from our main aim of promotion and we’re fully aware of Tuesday night when we have a more important fixture at Bristol Rovers’, Ling said. Though that game may be more important, Orient will have a lot more support at the Valley than they can expect on Tuesday. Ling made it clear that the O’s fans have a big part to play on Saturday stating,’there’ll be 6000 fans there again and I hope everyone who wanted a ticket has managed to get one. They’re sure to make lots of noise and back us throughout – they’ll probably out-sing the Charlton fans’.

Despite holding the edge in the stands, Ling is under no illusions as to the size of the task facing the O’s. ‘Charlton have got a quality team full of internationals, but the FA Cup’s all about the romance of the game and it will be a day we can go and take memories from, whatever happens’, Ling commented. In addition to the Charlton players, Ling has also voiced admiration for opposing manager Alan Curbishley who has been touted as the next England manager. ‘Alan has the right credentials, and I would rather see an Englishman in charge,’ said Ling. Ling then continued, ‘I think he would do a fine job in charge of England. It shows what a tough game we have coming up that we’re talking about Alan being the next England manager’.

With Orient facing a future England manager and several internationals, Martin Ling’s O’s face a formidable task. Yet, having already triumphed against all odss once this season, there’s nothing to stop them doing it again. It’s Charlton that have it all to lose.