Slade: Our support will be vital

Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade. Pic: Simon O'Connor

Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade. Pic: Simon O'Connor - Credit: Archant

Preview: Leyton Orient v Southend United, tonight, kick-off 7.45pm

Manager Russell Slade has called on the Leyton Orient fans to roar his side on to Wembley at tonight’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy area final first leg.

Having overcome Barnet, Northampton Town and Yeovil Town in previous rounds the O’s now take on fierce rivals Southend United over two legs – the first at the Matchroom Stadium this evening.

More than 5,000 tickets have been sold in advance for the tie and Slade hopes the support of a bumper crowd can see his side gain an early advantage.

“I need the fans to come out and get behind the team,” he said.

“First legs are never easy, so if we can take an advantage to their place I will be delighted.

“It’s an important game for us and the fans. There’s a slot at Wembley available and no-one wants to toss that away.

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“It would be fantastic to get there. I want to take the fans to Wembley, it’s a big desire. We’re just a contest away and we just need to make sure we do it properly.”

Striker Charlie MacDonald is cup-tied, so Shaun Batt is set to partner David Mooney in attack.

Meanwhile, midfielders Lee Cook and Martin Rowlands, who sat out Saturday’s 1-0 win at Stevenage, are in line for a recall.

Tickets are still available to buy online until 5pm this evening. Visit