LEYTON Orient manager Russell Slade was unwilling to speculate on Swindon Town’s mental state ahead of the clash between the two teams at Brisbane Road tomorrow.
Having been dumped out of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy on penalties, and thereby narrowly missing out on a trip to Wembley, there have been suggestions that Town will struggle to regain their focus and composure in time for the game against League One’s second-placed team.
Slade may or may not agree with that notion but, either way, he is not about to publicly delve into the Robins’ psyche before the two teams meet on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a tough one against Mark Cooper’s Swindon. I’m not going to comment on the psychology of another team,” he said.
“It’s up to them to decide if they’re going to be up for it, but I’m sure it’s going to be a difficult game.”
With Orient’s two biggest rivals for automatic promotion - Brentford and Wolves - facing each other at Griffin Park this weekend, Slade’s men could go top of the table with a victory.
However, the O’s boss has told his players not to think about events elsewhere as they look to control their own destiny.
“We need to focus on getting a positive result on Saturday,” said Slade.
“We don’t know what’s going to happen between Brentford and Wolves but we know something has to give.
“The first thing is not to get too carried away. We need to ensure we get 75 or 76 points to extend our season. If we’ve got six games left after that we’ll take the shackles off and have a right go.”
Defender Elliot Omozusi has missed the last three games with a groin injury but should be fit to return on Saturday. The only other absentee is goalkeeper Jamie Jones, who is out long-term with a trapped nerve in his back. Forward Shaun Batt returned earlier than expected after two months out with a hamstring tear and has come off the bench in the last two games.