Leyton Orient defender Scott Cuthbert targets nine wins to seal automatic promotion to the Championship

Scott Cuthbert battles for the ball during the Brentford defeat: Simon O'Connor

Scott Cuthbert battles for the ball during the Brentford defeat: Simon O'Connor

First published in Football East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Photograph of the Author by

Scott Cuthbert has targeted a maximum return of 27 points from Orient’s remaining nine matches to secure Championship football next season.

The O’s hopes of automatic promotion suffered a major setback after their home defeat to rivals Brentford but the Scottish defender has already set his sights on helping his side to another winning run. Russell Slade’s team won their first eight League 1 games this season and Cuthbert believes a similar run could be enough to seal a top-two finish.

Speaking after the Brentford defeat, Cuthbert said: “It’s massively disappointing. I think there was a lot of hype before the game. It was a sell-out crowd in a top of the league clash against our London rivals and we've come up a bit short.

“It’s disappointing but we’ve got to look at the positives and can’t get too down. There are still 27 points to play for and I firmly believe if we win those nine games we’ll be in the automatic promotion places. We need to stay focused and keep on believing.

“We firmly believe if we win those nine games we’ll be there or thereabouts. It’s worth a go and it’s not over yet. We have to keep on fighting and have a great bunch of lads. We won’t give up, that’s for sure.”

Cuthbert was keen to focus on all the achievements of the Orient team this season and he believes they can draw on all these memories during the run-in.

The 26-year-old said: “From the start of the season, when we won the first eight matches, it’s just been an unbelievable year for the club. To be up there with Wolves and Brentford, with the budgets they both have, we’re doing fantasticly.

“The pressure’s on the two other teams to keep doing what they’re doing. We’ll go about our business as we have been doing all season and see what happens at the start of May.

“It’s been a fantastic year and a real joy to be here for the whole season and to work with everyone at the club. It’s not over yet just because we’ve been beaten in one game. We’ve been beaten in the past and shown great character, bounced back and gone on a run. That’s what we need to do.”

Leaders Wolves slipped up at Crawley Town on Tuesday night and this type of result will give Orient plenty of hope that there will be more dropped points from their challengers before the end of the season.

“They’ve [Brentford] got two games in hand but I’d rather have the points on the table,” Cuthbert said. “That’s my personal opinion but I would say that. Twenty-seven points is a lot to play for and when you face teams at the bottom of the table it becomes very difficult so anything can happen.

“We’ve just got to stay confident and focused, which we will. We’re all aiming towards the one thing and we’re still very confident that we will be there or thereabouts.”

Orient have been projected as underdogs in the media compared with the financial muscle of Wolves and Brentford. But Cuthbert does not subscribe to this tag and says the O’s players can hold their own against the best in the division.

He said: “I think people quite like to build us up as the underdogs. But we’re here on merit and we’ve got some fantastic players here.

“Look at Moses Odubajo and Coxy. Mathieu Baudry and Nathan Clarke at the back, Kevin Lisbie’s been there and done it before.

“We’ve got fantastic players so there’s no reason we should be underdogs. But the media focus on Brentford and Wolves so we’re just happy to go along and keep on doing what we’re doing,” the defender added.

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