Date: 13th July 2006 at 8:54pm
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Despite only managing a 1-1 draw at Swindon Supermarine on Wednesday night, Martin Ling was not too displeased with his team`s performance. “The main thing is that 21 players come through without any injury problems. It wasn’t the greatest spectacle in the world – we moved the ball quite quickly but it wasn’t quick enough to open them up. We weren’t helped by the pitch because the grass was too long and that negated our strength, which is moving the ball quickly and into feet”.

Although many observers would have expected Orient to have run out comfortable winners, Ling refused to be too despondent. “I was quietly satisfied – it was what I call an early work-through game with heavy legs. We’d have expected to win it comfortably which didn’t happen but it was a good pre-season workout nevertheless. This was the first in a block of six leading up to Port Vale and the first couple are going to be a case of 45 minutes per team and I’d expect us to get better as the pre-season goes on”.

Ling also cited his pleasure at the return of key players from injury with Craig Easton, Justin Miller and Shane Tudor all returning after operations. “We know there’s room for improvement but what is pleasing is that we’ve had a couple of players out there – Easton and Miller – who’ve had hernia operations in the summer, and Tudor also coming back from an ankle operation, so things look good on the injury side of things and I’m interested in that over results at this stage”.

There was also time for Ling to comment on Orient`s goal scorer, Jabo Ibehre, after the striker impressed during the 1-1 draw. “I think Jabo looked sharp first half and he’s been up there in all the testing we did in the first week of training. He tucked his goal away well but our finishing in general was poor and we didn’t have enough shots”. Ling will be looking for an improvement in the finishing department when Orient travel to AFC Wimbledon next Saturday. Ling knows that his side will have to improve but with five more games until the start of the season, Ling is confident his side will be ready for Port Vale on August 5.