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Ryan Cresswell insists Southend United are thinking about Leyton Orient, not Wembley
RYAN Cresswell insists Southend United are fully focused on playing at Leyton Orient, not Wembley.
Blues head to Brisbane Road tonight for the first leg of their Johnstone’s Paint Trophy southern section final.
The aggregate winners will progress to play either Coventry City or Crewe Alexandra at the home of English football.
But Cresswell is refusing to get excited just yet.
“Everyone dreams of playing at Wembley and pretend you’re there when you’re in the school playground but we have two very hard games against a good Leyton Orient side to think about,” said the influential centre-back.
“It’s going to be a big test because they’ve been in good form and that’s why we’re thinking about these games and no further.
“We have a good squad of players here and we have shown that we can compete against League One sides already this season so we’re going there full of confidence.
“And the most important thing to make sure we’re not out of the tie by the time comes back to Roots Hall for the second leg.”
To help that happen, Cresswell is demanding Blues continue their defensive improvements.
Southend have kept clean sheets in their last two games and now conceded the second least amount of goals in League Two.
That delights the influential defender and he now wants to try and also keep Orient’s strikers quiet.
“We had a bit of a blip defensively a little while ago and when that happened we worked on a few things on training which seem to have done the trick,” said Cresswell.
“We adjusted a couple of things and they seem to have made a difference so hopefully that can stay the same.
“We’ve looked very solid in the last few games and Paul Smith has done very well too.
“We want to carry that on tonight but we will have to be on top form to keep Orient out.”
Blues will be forced in to making at least two changes tonight as midfield duo Michael Spillane and Marc Laird are both up tied.
Spillane played in a previous round for Dagenham & Redbridge while Laird did likewise with Leyton Orient before joining Southend.
Blues’ top goalscorer Gavin Tomlin will again be missing with a thigh injury.
And boss Paul Sturrock revealed the striker’s problem was worse than first feared.
“The tear Gavin suffered is more serious than we first thought which is a blow,” said Sturrock.
“He will be having another scan and we will know more in the next 48 hours.”