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Southend United v Leyton Orient Johnstone's Paint Trophy preview
Leyton Orient will attempt to reach Wembley for the first time in 14 years when they travel to Southend United in their Johnstone's Paint Trophy area final second leg tonight.
But the O's will have to do it the hard way after losing the first match 1-0 at Brisbane Road. Away goals do not count and if the game is level on aggregate after 90 minutes the contest will be decided on penalties.
Orient boss Russell Slade knows how difficult the challenge will be but has belief that his side can turn the tie around.
Slade said: “It’s going to be tough because we are going there with a deficit so it’s not going to be easy but we still feel that we’re in the game.
“It will be a fantastic atmosphere and we have to make sure that we stay in the game. We know what we have to do and we have to score.
“The FA Cup fifth round tie against Arsenal will take some beating but if we got to the final it would be a wonderful achievement for the whole club including the fans and the chairman. It would also be something that we could all look forward to."
Orient, who will take more than 2,000 supporters, look set to be without defender Gary Sawyer after his leg injury picked up in Saturday's defeat at Hartlepool United. The O's will also have to replace Charlie MacDonald because the former MK Dons striker is cup tied.
The Shrimpers have their own problems to contend with as Marc Laird, Caolan Lavery, Michael Timlin, Gavin Tomlin, Ryan Cresswell, Bilel Mohsni and Michael Spillane are all missing through injury, suspension or ineligibility.
The last time the sides met at Roots Hall, Orient claimed a win on penalties in the Carling Cup after a 1-1 draw two years ago. But the O's have not beaten Southend in 90 minutes in the last six games.
Orient skipper Nathan Clarke has admitted it would be a huge boost for the club if they could book a trip to Wembley in April.
The defender said: “It would be a massive result for us. We felt in the first game that we had the opportunities to come away with a result but it didn’t fall for us. But we are all positive and looking forward to the match. We know that if we could turn it around it would be huge for the club.”
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