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Leyton Orient signing Marvin Bartley feels at home with the O's
Marvin Bartley insists he feels at home at Leyton Orient and a desire to move back south played a key role in his loan switch.
The combative midfielder, who has joined the League One leaders on loan from Burnley until the end of January, wanted to move closer to his family in Reading. Bartley jumped at the chance to link up with the O’s and believes his happiness of the pitch will elevate his performances on the field.
The former Bournemouth midfielder said: “My family is down south and I’m a Reading boy. I’ve been up there for two-and-a-half years and I found it hard to settle. When I was playing regularly it was a bit different but when I was in and out of the team you start to over think things.
“It was always my ambition in the summer to come back down south. Obviously my injury in pre-season put a stop to that for a little while but now I’m here.
“I definitely feel at home here. Like I said, I’m from Reading and my family and friends are from there. I’ve got a very close family and when I was away I did miss my family at times. For me it’s about me being happy at home and enjoying my football. That’s the mixture I’ve got at the moment.”
A hamstring injury restricted Bartley’s involvement during his initial 28-day spell with Orient but manager Russell Slade was quick to tie him down to a longer deal until the new year. The 27-year-old believes he has a lot more to offer and wants to repay the faith in him over the coming months.
Bartley, who has started two games this season, said: “It was definitely an easy decision [extend loan]. The lads have been brilliant and I felt I shortchanged the gaffer in the first couple of weeks coming here unfit and missing pre-season. Hopefully I can get in my stride now and show what I’m all about.
“The atmosphere has been brilliant and the lads have welcomed me in to it as well which has been fantastic. It’s a small squad but everyone is together and all pulling in the same direction which is fantastic so long may that continue.”
Bartley started out his career playing non-league football and his form for Hampton & Richmond Borough earned him a move to the Cherries. The tough-tackling midfielder insists he was happy to drop down from the Championship to get first-team football with the O’s.
He said: “The thing with me is I’ve come from non-league so I want to play football no matter what level it is and I want to enjoy the game. Some people say it’s a pleasure to be a professional footballer but I want to play football and enjoy my football.
"That’s the most important thing for me, so wherever that may be I’m willing to drop down if I have to. Obviously everyone wants to play as high as they can but at this moment in time I’m here to do a job for Leyton Orient.
“I want to play as many games as I can between now and January. I want to keep Orient top of the league. That’s my aim and I take each game as it comes and don’t look too far into the future. The lads have won every game so it’s difficult for the gaffer. All I can do is perform when I get a chance and see where it goes.”
Bartley helped Bournemouth win promotion to League One in 2010 and he has seen similarities between their group and the Orient squad which is currently top of the league.
He said: “It’s very similar. I said to the gaffer last week it’s the same as when we were at Bournemouth. We had a very small squad with everyone pulling in the same direction and it feels the same in this changing room. We’re a small club but everyone puts a shift in for each other.”
Bournemouth striker Jayden Stockley recently moved to Brisbane Road on loan and Bartley believes his switch from the south coast will help the teenager progress.
Bartley said: “When I was at Bournemouth he [Jayden] was about ten years old so I can’t really remember. Jayden’s a good lad who came through really young at Bournemouth and will admit he hasn’t had enough game time. His progress has maybe slowed down but he’s still young and you saw against Gillingham he’s got something to offer.”
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