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As the run-in to the 2013 season hots up, things couldn’t be tighter in League One. With any one of a possibly ten teams still in with a shout of promotion approaching the third-to-last Saturday of the season, any small twist or turn now could really turn the promotion race on its head.

BillytheBee has been chatting to fans from all the Top 10 promotion-chasing teams *. In a series of interviews, fans from Doncaster, Bournemouth, Yeovil, Sheffield Utd, Swindon, Tranmere, as well as outsiders Walsall and Orient, give us their thoughts on the run-in (we didn’t talk to Franchise FC aka MK Dons fans as we don’t recognise their club actually exists).

In the second of our round of interviews, we bring you the thoughts of fans from teams battling it out on the edge of the play-offs. Orient are only four points off sixth place and Walsall 2 points, so, with Swindon and Tranmere currently on a bit of a wobbler, and Franchise not actually existing, it’s not pie-in-the sky to think that an end of season run from either of these teams could see them in the play-offs. We talk to Walsall fans from Bescot Banter and CNN journo and Orient season ticket holder James Masters (twitter: @masters_jamesD) about their thoughts on the next few weeks.

How is your run-in looking? How do you think you will get on?

Bescot Banter (WFC): We’re in the strange position of having to face three teams from the bottom half of the table. Saying that, they’re three sides who we’ve already performed poorly against this season. We were handed a 1-4 drubbing by Scunthorpe United and drew with both Bury and Crewe Alexandra during our mid-season slump, which saw us go seventeen games without victory. saying that, now we’re now thirteen games without defeat, we are more than capable of getting ourselves into the much coveted play-off places. I honestly believe that we’ll need a couple of sides to falter to give us a real opportunity though.

We have a few niggling injuries. Club captain Andy Butler is set to have a pain-killing injection to get him to the end of the season and left-back Andy Taylor is likely to miss the next two games with a hamstring tear. However, defender James Chambers is thankfully back, and top scorer, Will Grigg, has this week been passed fit following a similar injury. His return will be a massive boost as we have a relatively small squad which has desperately missed his ball-holding ability over the past few games.

JM (Orient): After a nightmare start to the season, where Orient lost their opening four league games, you would have been hard pushed to find much optimism around Brisbane Road. Incredibly, League One’s very own Jekyll & Hyde, managed to propel themselves towards the play-offs only to do what they do best – bottle it. With just three games remaining, it appears that the O’s will miss out once again as they did two years ago. Away defeats at Hartlepool, Scunthorpe and last Saturday’s reverse at Colchester, have proved costly, while the growing injury list has also decimated a fragile looking squad. The loss of influential players such as Scott Cuthbert and Mathieu Baudry weakened the defence, while Kevin Lisbie’s mid-season injury deprived the team of their most potent attacking threat.

Since the heartbreak of losing out Southend in the Southern final of the JPT, the O’s have shown remarkable character to bounce back and prove they can be something of a force at this level. Convincing wins over Tranmere and Bournemouth, and a hard-fought point against Swindon, showed that, on their day, they’re a decent League One side. Unfortunately, ‘their day’ doesn’t come often enough with Russell Slade’s side consistently inconsistent – but that’s why we love them.

The frustration is that had Orient actually turned up at Colchester and Scunthorpe, or even managed to hold on at Hartlepool, where they conceded twice in the last two minutes to lose 2-1, then who knows what might have been. But that’s football, it’s all ‘if’s and but’s’ and every team will point to instances where they might have done better.

What teams are you worried about that may steal your thunder? Why?

Bescot Banter: The table is so tight at the moment. Even at this late stage the play-off places are being chased by eight teams, so our thunder could be stolen by many sides. As we’ve played one more game than MK Dons, I fear they may grab our place.

JM: I’m not sure we’re really worried about anybody. When it comes to Orient, the better the team we face, the better the performance. There’s no point pitting the O’s up against Hartlepool or Bury (who should have been 3-0 up at Brisbane Road in the first 10 minutes only to lose 2-0). Orient thrive on playing the bigger teams. Take Brentford – Orient took four points off them, however fortunate it might have been. Even when they were down at their lowest ebb, the O’s still went to Bramall Lane and took a point. They’ve taken four off Swindon, thrashed Yeovil 4-1 at home, yet managed to hand Scunthorpe six points and lose at Hartlepool.

If we make it (which we won’t) then the O’s won’t care who they face. The question is can they hold their nerve? Against Southend they failed to master the mental side of the contest. With the play-offs having become a possibility, the players were once again guilty of not rising to the occasion and appeared to fold under the pressure. When you’re not used to success, it is difficult to adjust to the pressure and expectation which comes with it. That may be their greatest foe.

What’s your heart saying? What’s your head saying?

Bescot Banter: The 2013/14 season will be the clubs 125th year so obviously my heart is saying play-off win and spend our big anniversary in the Championship. But after successive seasons battling relegation, my head says, ‘consolidate the position and build for next year’. With the right investment, next season could be a big one for The Saddlers.

JM: Orient fans, like all football fans, are a divided bunch. Some are just glad to be safe after our poor start to the season, while others believe it’s a valiant effort. The younger fans feel frustrated with the opinion of “Well, at least we’re not going down.” When you see teams like Yeovil and to a certain respect Brentford, although they have a larger budget than Orient, up there then there is a case of asking, why can’t we do that? With the Olympic Stadium saga set to affect the future of the club, Orient need to raise their profile both on and off the pitch. A place in the Championship would help that greatly, but that won’t happen this season.

What league position do you think you will finish in?

Bescot Banter: Realistically, I think we’ll be just on the edge of the play-offs – so seventh or eight. As the league is so close, it’s possible we could even dip to tenth if results don’t go our way.

JM: A home game against MK Dons on Saturday is followed by a trip to Coventry and a final day contest with Oldham at Brisbane Road. The Dons are going for the play-offs and have a good record in E10 so it will be interesting to see how the O’s respond after last weekend’s disappointment. Incredibly, if Orient do win and Sheffield Utd can beat Swindon, then it will be all to play for again. Should that happen, then it would take a dramatic loss of form from Swindon and other results to go our way for Orient to make it. Hence, I don’t know anybody outside of a clinic in east London who still believes it’s feasible. A 9th or 10th place finish or a painstaking 7th place and missing out goal difference. That would be so very Leyton Orient.

If you get to the playoffs, who would you want? Why? Who would you want to avoid? Why?

Bescot Banter: Over the season of the sides currently in the play-offs positions, the team we’ve best performed against is Brentford, picking up four of the available six points, so I’d probably go for The Bees… Sorry.

JM: If we get to the play-offs – has there been a more hypothetical question ever asked? Well, I wouldn’t fancy playing Brentford. The O’s have a dire record at Griffin Park and with the Bees in great form, that would be one to avoid. You have to look at momentum and which team has stumbled into the top six, which has dropped off and which has burst in and looking good. Yeovil look like they’re on a real hot-streak at the moment and would be a team to avoid. Sheffield Utd have lost their way and although they’re a big club with a great stadium, their actual team isn’t anything to be unduly worried about. A play-off party at Bramall Lane would suit me fine.

Could you survive in the Championship?

Bescot Banter: In our current state, probably not. The squad is strong but small, there is plenty of potential, and some exceptional talent. However, there is little in the way of competition for places and if we were to pick up a few injuries we’d be forced to blood some unknown quantities from the youth set up, which is not a good long-term strategy. I would hope for some investment in the squad, be it in paid transfers or by diving into the free market, as there are sure to be some free agents who’d be keen on a season in the Championship.

JM: No. Not on the current wage structure, attendances and budget. Orient’s crowds, like all attendances across the Football League, have been disappointing this year. So much so, that when the club tries to give away free tickets, people still aren’t interested. It would come down to how much more money Barry Hearn is willing to invest in the club. Fans are split on Hearn – some love his fight and enthusiasm, while others think the lack of money going into the club is sending us to an early grave. The Championship is a tough, tough league. Charlton stormed to the League One title last year and have looked pretty average, while Southampton, Norwich and Swansea achieved stunning success. Unfortunately, for a ‘small’ club like Orient, a year in the Championship would prove extremely tough both on and off the pitch. But we’re’ no different, we want to be the best that we can be, and the chance of playing in the second tier would be a challenge everyone would be up for.

Did Michael Appleton really lose the dressing room at your club or is that just rumour?

Bescot Banter: Appleton was in and out like a flash. No one even really knew he managed us. Particularly none of the players

JM: That was mere internet rumour. Appleton had more of a director of football role before leaving us to take over at Bristol City

.* top 10 teams as of Friday April 12th 2013

You can check what Doncaster and Bournemouth fans thought about their run-in by clicking this link.