Despite the play-offs now being beyond them after last weekend’s 1-1 home draw with Barnet, Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray has challenged his side to finish on a high in eighth with two games to go.
Orient’s challenge also ended last weekend in a 1-0 loss across the capital at AFC Wimbledon.
It won’t be easy for the Stags on their first trip to Leyton Orient for over 10 years on Saturday, but it’s also not a bad time to be heading there with the Londoners in turmoil.
Having sacked Ian Hendon and put Kevin Nolan in charge as player-manager, the whole situation has turned into a farce with president Francesco Becchetti now forcing Nolan to step down to being just a player and placing Andy Hessenthler in as caretaker boss though insisting on choosing the team with him.
The O’s have won just one in seven now, that being a narrow 3-2 home win over Dagenham & Redbridge.
Stags will be reacquainted with former players Nicky Hunt and Ollie Palmer, both of who are expected to start.
Mansfield have lost their last five trips to Brisbane Road and their only three wins there came in 1999/2000, 1996/97 and 1937/38.
Click here to read a report from Stags v Barnet last weekend
Click here to see the video highlights of Stags v Barnet
Click here to see a report from Orient’s 1-0 defeat at AFC Wimbledon last weekend
Click here to see John Lomas’ weekly Stags video blog
STAGS TEAM NEWS
Junior Daniel is having treatment for a knock in training on Tuesday after a very physical inter-squad practice match.
Loanee right back Dan Alfei is also still having treatment on his hamstring injury.
But midfield ace Chris Clements, expected to be out for the season, is available after recovering from his hamstring strain.
Murray had hoped to use the game to blood one or two more of his talented youth team, but as they could clinch their league title on Saturday, he has decided to leave them to it.
POSSIBLE STAGS STARTING XI
Shearer, Collins, Tafazolli, Pearce, Benning; Chapman; Clements, Thomas, Daniel; Dieseruvwe, Green.
ORIENT TEAM NEWS
Orient were struggling with injuries last weekend and will definitely be without Jobi McAnuff on Saturday.
He suffered a calf injury after the 1-1 draw with York City and isn’t expected to play again this season, which is a massive shame for the club.
Star striker Jay Simpson missed out at Wimbledon with a bad back, but should be available for the visit of Mansfield and Nigel Atangana (groin problem) is likely to return as well.
At the moment, the club are still insisting former boss Kevin Nolan is injured with an ankle injury, but few supporters are buying that.
Young goalkeeper Charlie Grainger is another definitely out, though, with a wrist issue.
POSSIBLE ORIENT STARTING XI
Cisak, Hunt, Baudry, Brisley, Shaw, Kashket, James, Atangana, Turgott, Simpson, Palmer.
KEY BATTLE: JAY SIMPSON v RYAN TAFAZOLLI
Another big test for Ryan Tafazolli lies ahead on Saturday as Jay Simpson has already notched 25 goals this season.
But if he can be kept quiet then, unsurprisingly, Orient struggle to score goals.
While ex-Stag Ollie Palmer has endeared himself to the fans with his effort and work rate, he hasn’t been that clinical in front of goal, which will sound familiar to Mansfield fans.
But if Simpson is on form, he’ll cause Mansfield plenty of problems like he did in the previous meeting back in December when he scored.
Click HERE to see a compilation of Jay Simpson’s goals for Orient
ORIENT ONE TO WATCH: LLOYD JAMES
If he’s on form, Lloyd James can be a joy to watch.
He passes the ball with such purpose and incision and, when at the top of his game, he can cut open any back four.
He struggled against Wimbledon last weekend, but the pitch was poor.
But back at Brisbane Road, he’ll look to be spraying passes all over and hope to get Simpson in on goal a few times.
Click HERE to see a recent interview with Lloyd James
OPPOSITION CARETAKER MANAGER: ANDY HESSENTHALER
The club made the decision to take away player-manager Kevin Nolan’s managerial duties and put Andy Hessenthaler in charge of the first team in the interim after Nolan was this month asked to step down.
Although Hessenthaler is the caretaker, he doesn’t pick the team on his own.
He sits down with president Francesco Becchetti and the rest of his coaching staff and they all pick the starting team together, which is frankly ridiculous
Fans have no idea how the president is being allowed to do this, but you have to admire Hessenthaler’s honest to reveal that this is the current situation.
It is a huge mess and what happens beyond this season is anybody’s guess.
Click HERE to see an interview with Hessenthaler after last weekend’s defeat by AFC Wimbledon
ORIENT SEASON SO FAR
Orient have endured an incredibly frustrating season where a lack of consistency has cost them.
After a stunning start in August, where they won five League games in a row, they registered just four more victories in the division over the next four months.
At the turn of the New Year, they hadn’t lost many games under Ian Hendon, but had drawn far more than they should have.
He was sacked and Kevin Nolan came in and got straight down to work.
He made a really encouraging start to life at O’s before suffering a dip over Easter and into April.
Even though the 3-0 loss to Barnet was a disappointing result, the club didn’t need to do anything drastic.
Unfortunately Francesco Becchetti, the president, felt differently and took Nolan’s managerial duties away to virtually leave Orient in a mess.
It is no surprise now that they won’t make the play-offs with almost everybody at the club looking completely fed up.
Click HERE to see an extraordinary moment earlier this year when Orient chairman Francesco Becchetti falls out with Andy Hessenthaler and aims a kick at him!
Saturday, 12th December 2015: Mansfield Town 1, Leyton Orient 1
Despite another failure to win at home, Mansfield Town boss Adam Murray was adamant afterwards that this hard-fought 1-1 draw against both the elements and Leyton Orient might prove to be a huge point in the end.
It was a game that was lucky to go ahead and even luckier to be finished as the woes of winter dominated at One Call Stadium.
A pre-match pitch inspection deemed the surface just about playable, despite hours of heavy rain. But that rain continued to fall throughout and players were further hampered by a strong, swirling wind.
However, a decent sized crowd for a Christmas shopping Saturday turned out so, despite the difficulty in trying to play anything resembling attractive football in those conditions, at least they got a game and, in the end, something to cheer.
And it was again a game in which Stags proved they could match the top sides in the division, even if that elusive first win over a top 15 side again escaped them.
Orient turned up a place and a point behind Stags. But Adam Murray’s men fought back from behind to keep them at bay and remain in the seventh and final play-off spot.
Mansfield will take great heart from earning the point the hard way after goal ace Jay Simpson had headed Orient into a 12th minute lead.
Reggie Lambe provided the equaliser on 40 minutes and Krystian Pearce headed a great chance wide after the break as the home side piled the pressure
Click HERE to read a match report
Click HERE to see video highlights of the game
GROUND AND TICKETS
POSTCODE: E10 5NF
East London ground Brisbane Road, currently referred to as the Matchroom Stadium, and originally known as Osborne Road, has been the home ground of Leyton Orient since 1937, before which it was the home of amateur football team Leyton FC.
The ground is named after Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn’s sports promotion company, Matchroom Sport and its all-seated capacity is 9.271.
The club registered an interest into moving into the nearby Olympic Stadium following the 2012 Olympics, but the size of the eventual capacity saw them drop out of the running.
To drive to Leyton Orient, leave the M25 at Junction 27 and take the M11 towards London.
At the end of the motorway keep in the right hand lane and follow the signs for the North Circular A406 (W).
At the bottom of the flyover where the roads merge, move into the left-hand lane for the A104.
At the roundabout turn left onto the A104 towards Leytonstone. After about one mile at the next roundabout take the second exit continuing on the A104 towards Walthamstow & Leyton.
Half a mile further on, turn left at the traffic lights into Leyton Green Road (signposted to Leyton Leisure Lagoon & Lea Valley Sports).
Continue along this road and as you reach a large elevated block of flats on your right turn left into a short slip road that runs past the bus garage and then left into Leyton High Road (you’ll see the Leyton Leisure Lagoon in front of you as you wait to make the turn).
Continue along Leyton High Road passing the Leyton Midland Road overground station.
After passing a Jet Garage and as the High Road bears around to the left then the ground is beyond the High Road to the right.
Take the most suitable right hand turn (as some have vehicle restrictions) and they will take you down towards the stadium.
Be careful with your street parking as some areas are now resident permits only.
Tickets for the game at Orient are on sale at One Call Stadium until Friday.
Stags have received an initial allocation of 230 tickets to sell in advance for the game at the Matchroom Stadium.
However tickets will also be made available on the day of the match, directly from Leyton Orient, though adult and Over-65 and Student tickets will be more expensive.
Advance adult tickets are £22 in advance or £24 on the day.
Over 65s, students (with valid ID), current serving members of the armed forces (with valid proof of affiliation) in advance are £14 or £15 on the day.
U18s tickets are £5 in advance and on the day.
Mansfield have received a small allocation of tickets for wheelchair spaces, which can be purchased through Stags’ ticket office.
Wheelchair users, ambulant disabled people and their carers are admitted free of charge (providing they can display proof that they are claiming Disability Living Allowance at the middle or higher rate or equivalent Personal Independence Payment).
Tickets can be purchased in person from our ticket office or over the telephone on 01623 482482 until 4pm on Friday. After that point, Stags’ fans can purchase tickets from the Matchroom Stadium on the day of the game.
Don’t forget to read the match report at www.chad.co.uk after the game.
Keep in touch with all things Mansfield Town 24/7 via our new Mansfield Town Live Scribble feed.
The button link is located on the menu just below the main Chad masthead at the top of our home web page – www.chad.co.uk.
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It is a treasure trove of everything any Mansfield Town fan could want to read and from there you can also trawl back through older material you may have missed.
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