Purches returns as Orient are on the up

ORIENT head for Huddersfield Town at the weekend four points clear of the relegation zone and four points away from the play-off places, writes TREVOR DAVIES. Then they face Southampton at home and skipper Stephen Purches knows that the results of the nex

ORIENT head for Huddersfield Town at the weekend four points clear of the relegation zone and four points away from the play-off places, writes TREVOR DAVIES.

Then they face Southampton at home and skipper Stephen Purches knows that the results of the next two games will shape the club's season.

A decent points return from the two matches will keep the O's in mid-table, but a couple of set-backs would leave them looking over their shoulders once again.

Purches, who returned to first team action for the first time since fracturing a cheekbone during the clash at Stockport County, admitted: "They are two big games coming up and we're looking forward to them."


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Saturday's win against Brentford means the O's have won three of their last five league games to climb out of the bottom four and Purches added: "Huddersfield is not an easy place to go, but we have done alright there in recent years.

"We can take Saturday's win into the game and have a week to prepare for it."

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Purches replaced Andrew Cave-Brown at half-time, just four weeks after his sickening injury at Edgeley Park, and was delighted to be back in action so soon, even though he had to wear a protective mask.

"I played in the reserves and got used to it. It's alright for the first 10 or 15 minutes, then you get a bit hot and you can feel the water dripping a bit," he said.

"But it's nice to come back with a win," Purches added. After gaining just a solitary league victory in their first eight games, the 29-year-old defender is pleased with the way the team has bounced back.

"Every win is a big win. I don't think we started greatly and then we turned it around," he said.

"It was a big win, because a lot of the teams won around us again as well, so it keeps it tight in there.

"Everything is about trying to move forward and upwards," added Purches, who was delighted with the character the side showed to come back from a goal down and a missed penalty to take the points.

"We proved we can turn results around. We put Brentford under a bit of pressure and we built on it well. Unfortunately, we never killed the game off," he said.

"That's something we don't do well and we have got to get better at," added Purches, who is also keen for the O's to start well too.

"It wasn't a good start and time and again getting off to a good start is not something we do well," he continued.

"But we have got the confidence at the moment to turn things around. When Scott missed the penalty, heads could have dropped, but it didn't happen."

Boss Geraint Williams could have midfielder Adam Chambers back in contention for the weekend, after he came through 70 minutes of a reserve team game at Brighton last Wednesday.

ORIENT have extended the loan of Plymouth midfielder Luke Summerfield for another month.

The 21-year-old will remain at the Matchroom until November 24, a spell that will take in six more league games, as well as the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Area quarter-final clash with Hereford United. However, he will not be allowed to turn out for the O's in the first round of the FA Cup on Saturday, November 7.

Tottenham goalkeeper Lee Butcher has also joined on a month's loan as cover for Jamie Jones.

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