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A 3-0 defeat at Dundee might not have been written into Kenny Jackett’s script, but Peter Kitchen believes that the manager and Leyton Orient as a whole have turned the page and have an exciting Sky Bet League Two campaign ahead of them.
Goals from Paul McGowan, Alex Jakubiak and Lee Ashcroft secured victory for the Dens Park club. Nevertheless, Jackett was able to hand minutes to twenty of his squad during a hugely beneficial workout against a top-flight Scottish outfit.
“The result is insignificant, but game time is vital,” Kitchen told Yellow Sport.
“To me, this feels like a new era at the club. Indeed, it’s hard to remember a more tangible feeling of cautious optimism. Off the pitch, the owners have been joined by new investors, while CEO, Danny Macklin has worked tirelessly to expand the volume of backers. Notably, England skipper, Harry Kane – as a Royal British Legion ambassador – has again sponsored the club kit.
“But it’s on the pitch where the clubs fortunes will lie. Jackett’s appointment has seen optimism reach new heights. The former Welsh international is an experienced manager and decent levels and comes with a track record of success. He is the demanding motivator we needed to bring about success.
“Kenny has appointed his own backroom team which is another significant move from the club, displaying our ambition. I think this will sweep aside the comfortable approach which appeared to pervade the club over the last eighteen months.”
The former frontman was also impressed with the reshaping of the playing side: “After culling eleven players, Kenny has quietly gone about his business, recruiting five players, doubtlessly with more to follow.
“The new signings look likely to bring hunger and desire with them – Qualities which rub off on those around them. The two Irish strikers, Paul Smyth and Aaron Drinan bring pace, mobility and seem suited to the challenges faced in League Two. While, Omar Beckles, a big robust central defender, and Connor Wood, an attacking left-back also look good captures. And with Craig Clay and Dan Happe extending their time at Brisbane Road, there looks to be a solid spine developing in the team.
“Kitchen continued: “Another significant signing is the experienced Darren Prately from Charlton Athletic. Already installed as Jackett’s club captain, and a footballer with leadership, direction and organisation skills have won four promotions during a long and successful career.
“The new managers’ assertion that he wants to play a high pressing game and a more direct attacking style of football is music to my ears after the pedantic, predictable, possession football seen in the past eighteen months. If he is as good as his word, then he will certainly have the fans on board.”
After a season of treading water, now is the time for the club to fulfil the owner’s plan of League One football in the not too distant future. In Jackett, Orient has a manager who will demand the highest level of commitment from the players and will not accept excuses.”