Date: 27th January 2006 at 3:23pm
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Orient travel to Charlton on Saturday for their F.A.Cup 4th round clash on the back of another superb away day success. Yet, despite all the glamour and publicity that Orient will encounter at the Valley Tuesday is so much more important for the future of Leyton Orient F.C.

Time For Orient To Shine

Saturday’s game at Charlton is a fantastic reward for all of those involved with Leyton Orient Football Club. The players have excelled this season and have managed to reach a level of consistency that many of us at Brisbane Road have not seen for many years. They have already proved that when they need to, Orient will stand up and fight, bouncing back on every time they’re asked a question. This is a new Orient, an Orient with a backbone that can play football and also do the ugly side of the game, a virtue that in years past has been sorely lacking.

On Saturday Orient will walk out at the Valley having earnt the respect of many that have belittled the F.A. Cup. Orient didn’t nick a win at Fulham, they outplayed them, outfought them, and won a quite deserved victory. When Charlton line up for kick-off they well be quite aware that they’re in for a tough afternoon. Yet, the game is pretty meaningless in the context of Orient’s season. Orient aren’t going to win the competition, and so Tuesday’s game at Bristol Rovers is an absolute massive game for the club as they seek to close in further on the top three.

With Wycombe, Carlisle, Grimsby and Northampton all in action over the weekend, and Wycombe meeting Northampton on Tuesday, Orient will have one eye on this week’s League Two action. Orient will need to negotiate consecutive away games at Rovers and Torquay,and anything less than 4 points would be viewed as disappointing. Such has been the standard of Orient’s away form that one almost expects them to go away and sweep all before them. Certainly, the game at Bristol Rovers will be tough, but with Jabo Ibehre returning alongside a fit Craig Easton, Orient will be quietly confident.

Keeping Perspective

League Two is the priority this season for Orient and it is absolutely vital that the players, fans and management keep that at the forefront of their minds. Orient have some massive games coming up and although the temptation exists to bask in the glory of the Cup, Orient must make sure they avoid this at all costs.

O’s Fans The Difference

With Charlton fans not taking up the chance to watch the O’s, it could be another chance for the Orient fans to put another set of London supporters to shame. The atmosphere created by the O’s fans at Craven Cottage was nothing short of fantastic, and this game gives them another opportunity to sing their players towards another famous victory. I can’t guarantee that the O’s will win on the pitch, but when it comes to winning in the stands, it’s an absolute certainty.

Bigger Games Than This

With the nation’s media gazing in on The Valley, and with double spreads in the newspapers featuring Orient, it seems strange to say that a game at Bristol Rovers is more important. After the game at Bristol, there might be five lines in the paper, but ask Martin Ling where the priority lies and he’ll tell you that 3 points on Tuesday would be the aim. Yet, with 18 games to go, Orient can’t let all their hard work go to waste.

Vital Football At Bristol Rovers

JD will bring you all the news from both The Valley and from Tuesday’s night’s clash in Bristol. With almost 6,000 fans travelling to Charlton on Saturday, it would be great if we had even 600 of those at Bristol. I won’t hold my breath.

League Two This Weekend

Bury v Northampton,
Chester v Notts County
Darlington v Mansfield
Grimsby v Peterborough
Lincoln v Bristol Rovers
Rochdale v Boston United
Rusden & Diamonds v Oxford United
Shrewsbury v Torquay United
Wycombe Wanderers v Stockport County

On Sunday

Macclesfield v Carlisle (3pm)