Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade believes current squad is strongest he's had at Brisbane Road

Orient have assembled a strong squad this season under the management of Russell Slade: Simon O'Connor

Orient have assembled a strong squad this season under the management of Russell Slade: Simon O'Connor

First published in Sport by

Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade believes his current squad is the strongest he has assembled during his three years in charge of the club.

The O’s have increased their options this season with the signings of players such as Charlie MacDonald, Shaun Batt and most recently Romain Vincelot.

In addition, the contract extensions for Lee Cook, Martin Rowlands and Kevin Lisbie have secured the immediate future of the experienced first-teamers at the League One side.

Slade said: “It is the strongest squad I’ve had if I can keep them fit. It doesn’t matter what the size of your squad is because you need them fit and raring to go. The timing’s not bad to have nearly everyone back. If we can have everybody back in the next week or ten days that would be fantastic.”

Orient boosted their League One play-off hopes after a superb 2-1 home win over league leaders Tranmere Rovers on Saturday.

Despite the victory, Slade was quick to play down their chances of reaching the top six and insists this is still a long way off.

On their chances of reaching Wembley on two fronts, with a Johnstone's Paint area final second leg at Southend United to come next Wednesday, Slade replied: “Look, it’s too early to say that. I just keep saying to you that we’ve got a good group and we’ve strengthened the squad again.

“You saw that and it was nice to be able to bring Shaun on, Jimmy Smith and then Romain for a few minutes as well, who’s not had much football. It’s just encouraging to see the strength of the bench right now and of course we’ve got Kevin to come back as well.

“We’re a long way off that [play-offs] but we’re looking forward to the games coming up. We’ve got 15 games to go now and we probably need to win nine of them to have any chance of the play-offs. But we’re enjoying our football and looking forward to the matches.”

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