Alfreton Town v Leyton Orient FA Cup preview

Russell Slade hopes to take his team into the third round of the FA Cup: Action Images

Russell Slade hopes to take his team into the third round of the FA Cup: Action Images

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

Russell Slade admits his Leyton Orient side will go into their FA Cup second round clash at Alfreton Town in great heart.

The O’s will be warm favourites to defeat the Conference Premier side on Sunday in front of the ESPN cameras after a run of five consecutive wins.

Orient’s boss is wary of their non-league opponents and knows the neutrals will be hoping for a cup scalp but he is confident they will avoid a shock and book their place alongside the Premier League teams in the third round.

Slade said: “We need time now to prepare and get our recovery in and prepare for the cup game.

“It’s again going to be a battle of a different nature but I like the cup, the chairman likes the cup, we’re on television and let’s hope we can go up there and get another positive result.

“They’re always looking for an upset. That’s the nature of the game and if there’s an upset then so be it. That’s what happens in football, that’s the way it is. But we go there in great heart, that’s important to us and at the end of the day it’s our league status and form that’s very important.

“I think it will be an incredibly difficult test,” the Orient manager continued. “They’re scoring goals for fun at the minute. It will be another tough test.”

Leyton Orient embarked on a memorable run in the competition two years ago when they took Arsenal to a replay in the fifth round.

The O’s boss does not know if his squad can replicate that but believes the players will maintain their recent form in the televised tie this weekend.

Slade said: “It’s too early to say [if they can repeat cup run from a few years ago], it’s early days but we’d like to keep injury free and suspension free. We have lost Gary Sawyer with a fifth yellow card, these are the sorts of things that can jolt your progress, but we’re hopeful that the players that do come in and get the opportunity do the job.”

Skipper Nathan Clarke missed their win over Preston North End with an ankle injury and this could keep him out again this weekend.

Left-back Sawyer’s ever-present record for the team will also come to an end after picking up his fifth booking of the season.

Loan signing Alex Smith is unable to feature this weekend but defender Scott Cuthbert could be involved after playing 90 minutes for the reserves this week. 

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