Mooney looks to return to winning ways against Preston
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO
O’s striker David Mooney insists the mood in the camp is positive ahead of the clash with promotion-chasing Preston North End on Saturday.
The League One leaders crashed out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy thanks to a horror defensive showing against Stevenage on Tuesday night, eventually going down 3-2 at the Lamex Stadium.
But Irish top scorer Mooney, who scored a sublime volley to reduce the arrears to 2-1, said the players are looking forward to getting back to the “bread and butter” of their league campaign against a team who come to Brisbane Road fourth in the table.
“We have to keep our home record going and get three points on the board,” said Mooney.
“If we win we’ll be 14 points clear of them, but we know it’s going to be a difficult game. They’ve got some fantastic, Championship-quality players.”
Mooney volleyed in his 13th goal of the season after Shaun Batt’s cross was half-cleared, but he insisted he hasn’t set himself an end-of-season goal tally.
This is already the most prolific season of his career in English football and he’s hoping he continues finding the back of the net – his strike at Stevenage made it four in three games.
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Mooney said: “I haven’t set a target, but I want to score in every game as all strikers do.
“I’ll be happy as long as my form continues, but the team winning is the most important thing. We don’t like losing, so Saturday is a great opportunity to get back to winning ways.”
The 29-year-old was withdrawn with 20 minutes remaining, being replaced by 12-goal strike-partner Kevin Lisbie, who started on the bench.
There is a feeling that exiting the competition could aid the longer term aim of promotion for the O’s, but the striker pointed to how success in the trophy last year aided their league campaign. Orient reached the southern section final where they lost to Southend United over two legs, which coincided with a strong finish to their League One season.
Mooney said: “Last year the competition did us the world of good. We’ve got a small squad, but winning becomes a habit you don’t want to break.”
The striker added he was impressed with the performance of fellow forward Robbie Simpson, who signed on a two-month contract on Monday and came on with 11 minutes left to make his debut.
“He didn’t train on Monday but he’s a great lad and he’ll improve the strength of the squad,” said Mooney.