Leyton Orient V Peterborough at Matchroom Stadium : Match Preview

12 May 2014 02:31
Leyton Orient V Peterborough - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Slade tries to inspire O's push

Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade is hoping motivational posters could hold the key to Leyton Orient's play-off hopes.

Slade has been pinning inspirational quotes to the dressing room walls at Brisbane Road all season - and it has had the desired galvanising effect with the O's finishing third in the Sky Bet League One table with a club record total of 86 points.

Slade's players have responded to posters with messages such as, "a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step" and "the man on top of the mountain didn't fall there".

The Orient boss has even put up photographs of the team celebrating under the caption: "This group never gives up."

That seems to have characterised Slade's men this season, with them scoring in the final five minutes of matches to rescue a point on five occasions, while they have come from behind to win seven times.

When Orient resume their play-off semi-final against Peterborough, which is delicately poised at 1-1 after Saturday's first leg, on Tuesday night the players will be met with another of Slade's offerings adorning the wall of the home dressing room - pictures of League One grounds and Championship stadiums under the question: "Where do you want to be?"

"What I asked for was an improvement on last season, when we finished seventh, so you don't have to be a scientist to know where that meant I wanted us to be, and to do that we were going to have to over-achieve - and we have done that," said Slade.

"Football is not simply about tactics, the best formation or who's got the better technical players. Sometimes it's about that will to win.

"We are little Leyton Orient - the underdogs. So I look on the internet to see what great leaders said before they did battle. Through time there have been some very inspirational people. I always look at history, be it Napolean (Bonaparte), (Winston) Churchill, (Abraham) Lincoln, you'd be silly to ignore these people who have done it in extreme circumstances, who have found a strategy.

"Winston Churchill was a great one: 'We shall never surrender.'

"Those with their backs to the wall - like Churchill - who are still very positive and can still find a way to win against the odds I find really intriguing.

"And that's all we are looking for, a strategy and a gameplan on the day. We have a little room now, at the ground, where preparation is key. We do everything in there from analysing and discussing the opposition in detail. Sometimes success is in the detail.

"I've got pictures up, the lads know I love a poster and they have had different ones throughout the season. It has to be relative to the group.

"They don't see me as Napolean, though. But if I'm talking to them they'll take it on board."

Britt Assombalonga's 33rd goal of the season gave Peterborough the lead at London Road on Saturday before Moses Odubajo deservedly brought Orient level midway through the second half.

Posh were indebted to goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik for some fine saves to keep them in the tie but manager Darren Ferguson is confident his players' big-game mentality can see them through to the final at Wembley.

"I was always concerned about the first game as Orient were good here earlier in the season, but the pitch will be better at their place and we must remember how well we played there in February when we beat them.

"We relish these big games, I think our record in big games over the years proves that with our past successes in the play-offs and this season with our win at Wembley in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final.

"We've sampled a few must-win games already this season so I believe the second leg will set up much better for us."

Both managers are expected to retain the same squads that they named at the weekend.

Source: PA