O’s skipper looking at the bigger picture

ORIENT skipper Stephen Purches believes his side will have a much clearer idea of how well they will do this season after the next few games, writes TREVOR DAVIES. Following Saturday s 3-3 draw at Yeovil, the O s are 14th in League One and have four poin

ORIENT skipper Stephen Purches believes his side will have a much clearer idea of how well they will do this season after the next few games, writes TREVOR DAVIES.

Following Saturday's 3-3 draw at Yeovil, the O's are 14th in League One and have four points from four starts.

But they are the only team to have taken points off Bristol Rovers, and they could easily have shared the spoils in their home games against Oldham and Charlton.

"It's strange if you look at the table, because all the sides we have played so far are in the top half, so it means that the points have been well-earned," said Purches.

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O's also came within a whisker of becoming the first team to take a point off leaders Charlton Athletic too, until Tamika Mkandawire's late error saw the visitors edge to a 2-1 win last Tuesday.

The O's have also beaten Colchester in the Carling Cup, who are currently third in the table.

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"All the sides we have played have started the season well, but none of them have carved us open," said Purches.

"The next few league games are vital for us, because once we have played another three or four, I think we will have a good idea of just how the season will go for us."

The O's are back at Brisbane Road on Saturday for a league encounter with Carlisle, and after games against the early season high-flyers, that fixture marks the start of a sequence of four matches, which are all arguably winnable.

Geraint Williams' side, who have lost both league matches at Brisbane Road, have the chance to bury their home hoodoo against a Carlisle team who have not made the best of starts.

That's followed by a Friday night trip to Roots Hall for a derby duel with Southend United, before the O's entertain newly-promoted Exeter City and then travel to everyone's relegation favourites Stockport County and Purches admitted: "By then we should have a good idea of how things are going to go."

Carlisle, have an identical record to the O's, having lost both their home games, but they have picked up all their four points on the road and are currently 17th in the table.

Purches insists that there is no extra pressure playing at home and is looking forward to more high-profile matches like last Tuesday's derby duel with Charlton.

"There was a great atmosphere, the best since I have been here," said the skipper, who was disappointed that the O's didn't bounce back with a victory at Yeovil on Saturday.

"It was disappointing to score three goals, but not come away with maximum points," he said.

"We had to come back twice and that shows there is character in the squad," said the skipper, and the fact that Orient are finding goals easier to come by this season, is also a plus point for the defender.

"Everyone has been chipping in this season, and it's good to have a goal threat up front. It makes it a lot easier to win games," added Purches.

"Of course, it's disappointing that we have been conceding goals. But most of them have been down to bad decisions and individual errors.

"At the moment all the mistakes we make seem to be punished and at least we know what the problems are.

"When we start making the right decisions, we can cut out some of the goals we have been conceding."

n ORIENT midfielder Jason Demetriou will miss the game at Southend on Friday, September 4, as he has been named in the Cyprus squad for the World Cup qualifiers against the Republic of Ireland and Montenegro.

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