Popular wisdom has it that Leyton Orient, who enter today’s meeting with Sheffield United second in the League One table and only a point behind leaders Wolves, are guaranteed to wilt under the pressure of a promotion campaign, writes James Shield.
But, as their manager Russell Slade told The Star last night, the thought of challenging for a Championship place holds no fears for his side.
“We’re absolutely loving being where we are at the moment,” Slade said. “And why wouldn’t we be?
“The challenge for us is to keep moving forward in the same manner and making sure we keep getting results.
“We know everyone keeps writing us off and, to be honest, we used to use that to begin with. Motivate the lads by telling them to prove people wrong.
“But there’s no need to do that now because the boys know what they’ve got to do. And they’re enjoying themselves too which is exactly the way it should be.”
Nigel Clough, Slade’s United counterpart, yesterday rubbished those pundits who suggest Orient’s challenge is unsustainable.
“Orient had an incredible start,” he said. “Winning 10 of their first 11 games and the confidence built up from that means the foundations are there.
“Top two? Who knows? But I’d say they’ll be in the top six shake-up at the end.”
Slade added: “There’s a great team spirit among the lads and that has really helped them through. They just keep moving on to the next game.”