Plymouth Argyle are set to lock horns with Leyton Orient in the Carabao Cup for the second year in succession. We spoke to Orient fan and Sports Journalism student Brendan, who can be found on Twitter, for his take on the match and season ahead.
How have things been at Leyton Orient since we met last season?
Well the last time we met was Carl Fletcher’s first game in charge, so it’s fair to say that didn’t go to plan. Since then Ross Embleton has been given the job on a full-time basis and has begun to put his own stamp on the side. Former Wycombe defender Danny Senda joined the club as Embleton’s assistant during the summer and they look to be getting the best out of some of the individuals that at times flattered to deceive last season.
Are there any Orient players in particular we should be looking out for on Tuesday?
It’s difficult to say without knowing how much Ross is going to rotate, but if he starts Danny Johnson will be our main goal threat. He’s picked up where he left off pre lockdown with three goals already this campaign and looks capable of being the type of forward we’ve sorely missed since Macauley Bonne’s departure last summer.
Young forward, Ruel Sotiriou will also be one to keep an eye on if he starts. He had a great back end to last season after breaking into the first team and a lot of people, not only in E10, but also in the wider EFL scene, are tipping him for big things this season.
How did things look in your League Two opening day victory against Oldham?
We didn’t quite click going forward, but we looked much more solid at the back compared to last season. It wasn’t pretty but we stayed in the game and managed to nick a winner from a set piece at the death. If we can continue to show those characteristics throughout the season, I’m positive we’ll improve on last season’s 17th place finish.
And what would you say your ambitions are for the season ahead?
I think a top half finish is a realistic target. We’re a much more settled club now, on and off the field, following the tragic events of last summer, and there’s a few quiet rumblings amongst the camp that we could surprise a few this season.
A meeting with Spurs awaits the winners of this tie – how much of an extra incentive is that for Orient?
Although tempered slightly by the chance Jose might be forced to play the kids, it’s still massive for us. We comfortably beat their U23s in pre-season in a memorial match for Justin Edinburgh, but to play them in a competitive game just a few weeks later would be a massive occasion, which could provide a huge financial boost to the club in these difficult times even if it’s behind closed doors.
What sort of tactical style do you expect to set up with on Tuesday?
Since January, we’ve pretty much stuck to a 4-3-3. Our wingers tend to cut inside, leaving room for the full backs to overlap, and we’re often very patient and tidy in possession.
And are there any real weak links in the side you’re worried about?
We made a habit of conceding a lot of sloppy goals last season and depending on the severity of the injury Dan Happe suffered against Oldham, we might be slightly short at centre back for this one, so that’s the main area of concern right now.
What first comes to mind when you think of Plymouth Argyle?
I’ve probably got a slightly different relationship to Argyle than most Orient fans as I actually grew up in Cornwall, so technically they probably count as my local EFL team. Though, via glamorous away days in Exeter, Bristol, Torquay and of course Plymouth, my Dad made sure I ended up as an O.
When we were in the same league, Argyle was always a fixture we’d both look out for as it was the nearest away game for us and, despite it nearly always falling on a Tuesday night, going in the away end at Home Park is something I always looked forward to.
Which Argyle player, if any, would you like to sign?
I like George Cooper, he’s very good and I’m impressed you guys managed to get him back this season. If I was going to sign one however, it’d have to be Danny Mayor. Talented players like him are like gold dust at this level and he’s one of those players you’d happily pay to watch.
And finally, what is your prediction for the game itself?
Slightly optimistically, I’ll go with a 1-1 draw with us progressing on penalties thanks to the heroics of Sam Sargeant.