Aussie goalkeeper hoping to send Orient express to League One

Australian goalkeeper Alex Cisak believes Leyton Orient can bounce back and get promotion straight into England’s League One for next season.

The O’s were relegated in the 2014-2015 campaign after finishing 23rd.

Cisak, who spent half of last season on loan with Orient from Burnley, has joined the east London club permanently on a two-year deal.

Orient started life in League Two with a 2-0 victory over London rivals Barnet last weekend.

It was a good 2-0 win and a clean sheet as well,” Cisak told FourFourTwo.

“We played quite well. Obviously we have to get over last season so it was good to get off to a winning start.

“Everyone played well and we just need to take that and get a win on Saturday and keep the run going.”

Orient endured a disastrous 2014-2015 campaign – relegation combined with three different managers, following the departure of long-standing boss Russell Slade.

Former Barnet manager Ian Hendon has now taken the head coaching role.

Cisak described last season as a “shocker”, but said he has been impressed by Hendon.

“The year before last season they lost in the playoff final to the Championship, so last season was a bit of a shocker,” the 26-year old admitted.

“They didn’t start well, had a few managerial changes and when I signed in February they were struggling down at the bottom of the ladder.

“Changing the manager didn’t help and we had an Italian manager who couldn’t really speak English so it made it quite tough too to do what he wanted.

“He couldn’t get his message across properly and it made it quite hard for us. Results didn’t go our way anyway. This season we’ve had a good start and we want to get promoted.

“We’ve got a good chairman as well, he’s very active and he wants us to get into the Championship. He’s spent a lot of money and he wants to invest in the future and see us promoted this season.

“I’ve been very impressed with him [Hendon]. I’ve only been working with him for three weeks now but the last few weeks have been good.

“He’s very professional and I’m looking forward to working with him for the rest of the season because I’m sure we’ll do well this season and he’ll be a big part of it.”

Cisak has spent the past decade in the UK after joining Leicester in 2005 from South Hobart. The well-travelled keeper has had stints at Oxford United, Tamworth United, Accrington Stanley, Oldham, Portsmouth, York City and Burnley.

Cisak went out on loan to York City and Leyton last season, with Burnley shot-stopper Tom Heaton established at Turf Moor.

“Tom Heaton, the number one at Burnley, has played every game for the last two seasons, he’s been brilliant,” he said.

“He got called up for England and got a new contract as well so for me personally I wanted to be playing games and with him being the number one I couldn’t displace him, because he’s been so good last year.

“So for me I needed to get game-time. As soon as Leyton Orient said they wanted to sign me I jumped at the chance and here I am now.

“It was tough (last season). I was on the bench for every game in the Championship and hoping to be around the squad but unfortunately it didn’t happen.

“So I went on loan last season and still played about 30 games, which was good for me. Coming to this season hopefully I can keep my spot and play 50 games or so. Hopefully we can get promoted as well.”

The Orients were unluckily defeated by MK Dons 2-1 mid-week in the Cup, with League Two duties resuming this weekend against Dag & Red.

“It was quite disappointing really because we played really well,” Cisak said.

“We hit the post three or four times and then they equalized with a goal in the 89th minute. And then they scored again two minutes later.

“So it was quite disappointing but there are a lot of positives from that as they’re a Championship squad and you could say we outplayed them really. We just couldn’t finish them off.

“There’s plenty of positives to take from that game and into the game on Saturday.”

Born in Poland, Cisak accrued five caps for the Young Socceroos. The keeper said he is open to playing in the A-League one day but sees his future in England for now.

“I’m still 26-years-old and that’s quite young for a goalkeeper,” Cisak said.

“So I’m going to try and play in England for as long as possible as the standard here is the best in the world. So I wanted to stay here as long as I can and get as many games as I can.

“But obviously I’m not going to dismiss ever playing in the A-League as I will return to Australia one day and I’d still love to play some football there as well. You never know.

“It could happen next year, it could happen in a few years, who knows. But I would like to play in the A-League at some stage but I don’t think my time here is finished just yet.”