O’s must cut Crewe down in vital clash

GERAINT WILLIAMS takes charge of his first game at Brisbane Road on Saturday, a crucial relegation clash against Crewe Alexandra, writes TREVOR DAVIES. It will be a baptism of fire for the new O s manager, who was appointed last week, as the bottom four s

GERAINT WILLIAMS takes charge of his first game at Brisbane Road on Saturday, a crucial relegation clash against Crewe Alexandra, writes TREVOR DAVIES.

It will be a baptism of fire for the new O's manager, who was appointed last week, as the bottom four sides all clash head on in a relegation rumble at the weekend.

It's Orient's home record that has dragged them into trouble this season. They have picked up just two wins at Brisbane Road and have taken fewer points in front of their own fans than any other side in the division.

The O's have also scored fewer goals than anyone else in League One, and it would give them a massive boost if the new boss can mark his first home game with a win.


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Williams, who started with a creditable draw at play-off chasing Tranmere last weekend, knows that firepower is a problem and he will be looking to strengthen Orient's forward line as soon as possible.

"Obviously we need to score goals and goals have been hard to come by all season," admitted Williams, a former Welsh international, who made close to 700 Football League appearances in a playing career that included spells in the top flight with Derby and Ipswich.

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"We have only two fit out-and-out strikers at the moment with Ryan Jarvis and Adam Boyd, so we have got to look at that, as there is a shortage of numbers up front.

"We need competition for places, so we will certainly be looking to bring one or two strikers in. It won't be easy, because the transfer window is shut, but we have a loan option and no stone will go unturned."

Williams' target is simple - to keep Orient in League One and he admitted: "We have 16 games left and they are all massive matches for us.

"We're in a tough situation, because we have played more games than the teams around us. But all we can worry about is the next game against Crewe and look to take three points."

It's been Orient's inability to beat their fellow strugglers at home that has cost them dear as Cheltenham, Swindon and Yeovil have recently recorded victories at Brisbane Road.

But if they can beat Crewe on Saturday and Cheltenham's game with Hereford finishes all square, then the O's could open up genuine daylight between themselves and the bottom three - and drag more sides into the relegation scrap.

Williams admits he is relishing the relegation battle ahead and said: "I'm looking forward to the challenge and I'm really up for it. At the end of the season you end up where you deserve to be."

O's expect to have Sean Thornton (hamstring) available for selection, although JJ Melligan is still struggling with a thigh strain.

While Williams will be keeping his fingers crossed that both Jason Demetriou and Jordan Spence return from international duty this week without any injury worries.

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