AS the Leyton Orient and Plymouth Argyle camps get ready to face the other on Tuesday, each side has unanswered questions about the other.
For Argyle, and boss Derek Adams, there is the question of not knowing very much about your opposite number. Andy Hessenthaler, appointed as manager at the Matchroom Stadium in April, was dismissed on Monday, the eve of the Pilgrims’ visit to East London.
Orient, 14th in Sky Bet League Two following three wins in nine games, have temporarily handed the reins to Andy Edwards, Hessenthaler’s former deputy, who has no previous managerial experience.
He will not have had long to stamp any authority on the club, but the question always hovers in a situation such as this as to whether a change in circumstance can catalyse a change in fortune. If so, Argyle would be the victims.
“We’ll have to wait and see to see if there is going to be any changes in the team from the weekend,” said Derek.
“It is difficult to say [if there will be changes] because you don’t know what the thinking is. They have a big pool of players to choose from, but we’ll have a better idea just before kick-off.
“They are one of the big hitters in the league, and that comes with extra pressure.
“We know roughly how Leyton Orient are going to play. They are a team that doesn’t differ much from season to season. We’ll have to deal with a lot of long balls into the penalty area, which we did last time, and we did exceptionally well on the counter attack.”
Indeed, Argyle did do well there last time. A 3-1 victory at a crunch time of the season was achieved with some ease, after Jake Jervis replaced an injured Reuben to good effect, and scored twice as the Greens swept to victory.
Injured strikers are again on the agenda; Orient ears, whoever is in charge, will have been tuned to the Argyle radar to monitor the progress of Paul-Arnold Garita. The forward, impressive against Cambridge, was then equally effective in a goalscoring performance against Exeter, before breaking down with injury. The hamstring strain kept him out of Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Hartlepool, with green fingers crossed that the big man would pass muster for the Orient trip.
Derek was prepared to throw Orient observers one line of knowledge – Arnie got on the bus when it left Home Park, headed towards the nation’s capital, leaving our fair county for the first time in a month.
“Arnie’s going to travel with us,” said Derek, “so we’ll see assess how he is before the game. Apart from him, it’s the same squad as Saturday.
“We’ve been in and around Devon for a month now, and it’s been good, but we’re back on our travels.
“We found it last season, when we went away from home, that the players are around each other for long periods on the bus. It does help us, with the players getting to know each a lot better. That is a benefit.
“We come off a very good victory there last time. We’ve probably had better performances, but it was a good victory for us. It was a good night.
“It is a nice venue to go to; a beautiful stadium, and the playing surface will be in top condition.”