SHEFFIELD UNITED: Russell Slade has little Orient full of Eastern promise

Orient boss: Russell Slade
Orient boss: Russell Slade

THEY might not possess the capital’s swankiest postcode but that has not stopped Leyton Orient drafting grand designs.

Sheffield United’s opponents tomorrow have made no secret of the fact they want to swap the Matchroom Stadium for one constructed to host the London Olympics two miles away along the A112.

If chairman Barry Hearn gets his way then Russell Slade, their experienced manager, will be charged with constructing a team capable of furnishing the club’s elegant new surroundings.

An apparently preposterous challenge given they count Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham as competitors and neighbours.

But one which Danny Wilson, Slade’s counterpart in South Yorkshire, insisted last night his rival is well equipped to complete.

“Russell knows this division inside out,” he said. “He knows exactly the type of player that Orient can attract and he knows how to get the best out of them.

“He’s someone I like and admire.

“Russell, if you look at his record, has shown he’s got the ability to complete jobs that some people might not think are possible. He’s gets people to believe in themselves.

“That’s why, knowing Russell as I do, we’ll have their respect just like they’ve got ours.”

Slade, aged 51, rose to prominence in coaching circles during the late 90s at Bramall Lane. Having cut his teeth at Notts County, the former schoolteacher rescued now-defunct Scarborough from Conference relegation a decade ago before steering both Grimsby Town and Yeovil towards play-off qualification.

A feat he nearly repeated having arrived at the Matchroom Stadium, via Brighton, in 2010.

“One of the great things about being at Orient is the sense of community and belonging,” Slade told The Star yesterday. “We represent a small part of East London but that just makes working here even more fulfilling and worthwhile.

“It’s also something I try and get the players to buy into and feel they’re involved with. That’s vitally important when you’ve got a small group.”

“Sometimes the hairdryer has to come out,” Slade added. “But I like to think that I’ve always had strong bonds with my players.

“My captain lives right next door to me, exactly the same as his predecessor did, so there’s a good sense of being part of a group.”

Sixth-placed United could name the same starting 11 which won at Hartlepool in midweek.

Orient are 12th following a deserved victory over Walsall which saw Dean Cox, cited by Wilson as a major threat to the visitors, score an early contender for goal of the season.