Bristol Rovers welcome promotion contenders Leyton Orient this weekend looking to bounce back from another away defeat.
Rovers were beaten 1-0 at Hartlepool last time out after Harvey Saunders’ decision making was punished when he lost the ball to allow Jamie Sterry to score his first EFL goal.
The Gas have been better on home soil though this season so far, with two wins and a loss from their opening three league matches but speaking after the defeat to Hartlepool, midfielder Sam Finley has said that the team knows that they have to be better away from home in order to mount a promotion challenge in League Two.
“Disappointed,” Finley told Bristol Live.
“Another individual error cost us. The lads battled hard. It wasn’t a pretty game and it was never going to be coming here with Hartlepool’s style of play.
“Winning second balls and battling, I think we did that for 60-70 minutes until they scored and then it was a different story. We were chasing the game.
“It’s massively disappointing coming here and losing. We need to start working on our away form.
“It’s obviously not good enough and I think we need to be a lot braver on the ball.
“We can’t wait to go 1-0 down to start playing football. We need to do that from the off.”
Rovers will be without Alex Rodman for up to 12 weeks after the midfielder suffered a broken toe in training last week. Manager Joey Barton may welcome Luke Thomas back into the fold after the winger was taken out of the team after three games to have a mini pre season.
Leyton Orient go into the game having lost just once so far this season and climbing up to fourth in the process.
With the O’s tipped by many to stake a claim for promotion, they are certainly living up to the tipsters’ claims.
Orient are unbeaten but winless away from home so far this season, drawing all three of their away matches and will be looking to get their first win on the road this term.
Speaking after their midweek win over West Ham U23’s in the Papa John’s Trophy, assistant boss Joe Gallen said that they are building a winning mentality throughout the club.
“Job done, they’re always tough games when you play against Premier League under-21s or 23s as it’s a big game and they get to play against league opposition, and you can tell they’re really up for it,” Gallen told the East London Advertiser.
“I thought our boys had a really good attitude and at times played very well. We deservedly won the game, there wasn’t a lot of chances in it, but I thought in the second half in particular we stepped on them and denied them a lot of space.
“It did look like we were going to be the winner but were just waiting for the goal to come. We want to have a winning mentality at the club, from our team to the reserve team games and down to the under-18s.
“It keeps the momentum going, which is good, and proves that we can get on a run first-team wise.”
Orient boss Kenny Jackett will hope to have Adam Thompson back in contention with the defender back in training following an injury. Paul Smyth will be ruled out of the match though as he still has not recovered from a hamstring injury.
Bristol Rovers Predicted XI (3-4-2-1):
Leyton Orient Predicted XI (3-4-3): Vigouroux (GK); Mitchell, Happe, Beckles; James, Clay, Pratley, Wood; Drinan, Smith, Archibald.
Max and Simon: The Gas 1-3 Leyton Orient
Sam: The Gas 1-0 Leyton Orient
Mets: The Gas 0-3 Leyton Orient