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In the run up to the big match on Saturday and also Thursday night’s live fan broadcast on BillytheBee catches up with Andy Brown aka Orient Meat Pie (@OrientMeatPie) – apparently called so after Orient Pies were voted worst in the country many years ago – at talks about getting Cox out, team rotation and good old Barry Silkman

Just to set the picture, what was your first game?
My dad took me in Frank Clark’s first season as O’s manager in the 83-84 season against Newport County. It was 2-2, I think and Kevin Godfrey and Barry Silkman scored for the Os. I was only a kid but signed up as a junior O that day and haven’t looked back.

Everyone has kept writing off Orient saying they will fall away. You had a wee wobble a few weeks ago but to be fair, you’re still right up in there.
It’s a phenomenal achievement considering the size and playing budgets of a number of clubs in the league. The first half of the season has been a whirlwind, with consistent performances and sublime football at times, including stunning wins away at Peterborough, Swindon, Brentford and others. Many were highly sceptical as to whether Russell Slade could take the club further in 2012, after a poor previous season but continuity and massively improved performances of key players in 2013 has seen the club push on from an excellent 7th place finish in 2012/13 season. Quality passing football has been mixed with excellent fitness and determination. Even when conceding, Orient have managed to stay in games and recover from a losing position. The main concern is the depth of the squad when beset by injuries and suspensions. However, the Os have stayed on the pace and we’ll be in contention right the way through to the end of the season.

Orient has been prime example of team spirit and a tight knit unit getting you results. How much have your results been about your players knowing each other and keeping the same team week in and week out?
Russell Slade puts it down to picking good players and keeping the squad together that has gradually gelled into an excellent unit over time. We have a good blend of youth and experience and it’s really paid off this season. We’ve finished 7th twice in the last 3 seasons, so it we’d hoped to make it into the top half, although Orient have typically had a poor season following a good season the year before. We’re normally slow starters too, so our remarkable season has left us a bit bewildered as much as anything, although it’s been brilliant to have been so dominant for the so long. However, we’re all realists and know that it may not last with a small squad and modest budget. Irrespective of how we finish, we’re proud of what has been achieved so far!

Do you think your relative lack of team rotation and an arduous end of season programme may see you come a bit of a cropper with regards injuries and suspensions?
The main concern was always the depth of the squad when beset by injuries and suspensions, but we’ve stayed the pace and battled through and we are exactly where we deserve to be. Slade has also made some good loan signings that have helped to steady the ship-think goalkeeper Jakupovic with Jamie Jones injured long term.

If you ever go to the Aviva stadium to see The Republic of Ireland play, you will hear the chant “We love Cox” reverberating around the South Stand Landsdown Rd. Ever considered trying to get this rather openly liberal chant going in the West Stand ?
We already sing “we’ve got tiny Cox”. It’s tongue in cheek and he doesn’t like it much, but that’s fans for you. He’s been a massive player for us-and that’s reflected in his high number of assists. He also scored a cracker against Port Vale on Tuesday-will be happy if he does the same on Saturday.

You have played everyone so far. Who do you rate? And who is poop?
Best teams were Rotherham, Brentford and Wolves. Port Vale were a tough side that battled hard.
Worst teams were Carlisle, our most comfortable win so far, and Notts County-very one-dimensional.

There’s a danger if any of the top 3 teams fall away, one of us will end up in the playoffs playing against some decent form sides like Preston, Rotherham and possibly Sheffield Utd. Orient, like Brentford, have a history of not quite delivering at the final straw. Do you think whoever drops out of the automatic race may struggle in the playoffs?
Of course. It’s the feeling of missing out on doing it the easy way and playing teams with nothing to lose who are also very good, that’s why they are top 6 sides. And there are no guarantees in play off football. I would like to avoid Preston and Rotherham-but it depends who sneaks into the 6th place. Sheffield United would be tough the way Clough has them playing.

Cast your mind back to 2005/6 season. Orient were playing Oxford in their final game of the season And needed a win or Promotion chasing Grimsby, managed ironically by Russell Slade, to drop points to get promotion. Talk us through those mental last few minutes of that match.
It was insanely tense-Oxford battled for their lives as they were trying to stay up and everybody was figuring out the Northampton score. At one point it looked like we’d missed out, both through our own fault and the result at Grimsby, but an equaliser for Northampton in injury time happened at almost the same time as Lee Steele scored the winner. We went ballistic and the rest is history.

You didn’t really want to go to the Olympic stadium did you? You’ll be rattling around in there
There are too many concerns over multiple issues, such as suitability for the stadium and Barry Hearn’s intentions and the long term vision of the club. If we move, the likelihood is that we will end up in a similar position to Coventry within 10 years, without any control over where we play. The scary part is that like most football clubs, we are operating thanks to Barry Hearn’s goodwill to a large extent.

And your fans’ hatred of Brentford. You’ve had a good run of constant ‘Bees prodding’ and ‘mind the gap’ up to the New Year – it’s been much quieter the last month or so. I’m still dumbfounded where this hatred came from.
Hatred is a bit strong, it’s just dislike. I blame Terry Evan’s thuggery and the fact that you had more than your fair share of luck in close games. I remember numerous 1-0 and 4-3 defeats in the 90s. The fans have the obvious East v West London thing as well. It’s only natural…

Ok let’s put aside the politeness. You have to admit Brentford are a better team than Orient. We may choke on the odd big game but you at least have to give us that.
I don’t think so and the 2-0 win at Griffin Park makes a mockery of that statement! Brentford have been consistent for a few seasons and had investment so are consistently pushing to get out of league 1. That said, under Slade Orient have had two top 7 finishes in the last 3 seasons. That’s not a blip, it’s continuous improvement. The two teams are closely matched which makes the game on Saturday all the more exciting/nerve-wracking.

There are only ten games left for you guys. That’s not that many. Squeaky bum time. Apart from the Brentford game, which games coming up do you feel may make or break your season?
Every game can break the season with games against teams like Port Vale or Notts County as big as the games at Wolves or Sheffield United. With nobody slipping up it’s tough. Wolves at Easter looks like a massive game as, of course, is the game on Saturday Brentford still have to go to Rotherham, so good luck with that one!

Head to head, Brentford are just steaming it winning 27 games to Orient’s 17 with 11 games drawn. Time to buck the trend once again?
Yeah but half of those have been 4-3 crackers or jammy 1-0 wins, so in my head half of them don’t count J
I‘m hoping for another 4-2 but I’ll be happy for the ball to go in off Mooney’s backside as long as we get a result.

Give us a score prediction
Nope, I’m not a Jonah!

Where do you recommend away fans hang out out post-match for some win or lose banter?
The Birkbeck is good, if you can find it. Otherwise the Technical Pub is great!

Thanks to Andy Orient meat pie for taking time out and getting us hype for the game at the weekend. You can follow him on twitter (@OrientMeatPie) or catch up for him and his motley crew of Orient fans doing battle with Brentford fans live and direct from some pub in Central London on