Crawley Town v Leyton Orient – Sky Bet League Two – The People’s Pension Stadium – Tuesday 7pm – Preview
Peter Kitchen looked ahead to another busy week for Leyton Orient, suggesting that only back-to-back Sky Bet League Two victories over Crawley Town and Colchester United will do if the East Londoners are to be taken seriously as promotion-contenders.
Two successive defeats have seen the O’s slip away from the top seven: “It’s an important week which could effectively see the wheel come off our promotion challenge unless we are ruthless,” Kitchen told Yellow Sport.
“We need to reignite the challenge. Winning at Crawley will see us pull clear of them, potentially move us up the table and set us up nicely for the derby with Colchester.
“But we need to get on the front foot at Crawley. We’ve not laid a glove on either Forest Green or Bolton. If Ross Embleton is to get the best out of this squad and silence some of his doubters he needs to set us up to be braver and bolder and more adventurous with his system, tactics and team selection.
“The 4-3-3 system, without leading scorer Danny Johnson, clearly isn’t giving the team enough attacking options and performances have been disappointing. It might now be the time to play with two central strikers and two wide players, to give the team more attacking intent?
“I think we have displayed some sort of intent by bringing in four players just ahead of the window closing – the latest being experienced central defender, Adam Thompson and returning striker, Tristan Abrahams. For me, this suggests we are still serious about making the play-offs.”
Looking ahead to their trip to Sussex, Kitchen added: “Crawley lost to leaders Cambridge United last time out, but they have been in decent form and, of course, dispatched Premier League Leeds United from the FA Cup.
“But this is an opportunity for Ross to give the team a chance to play with more energy, a higher tempo and intensity. Make this outside chance of promotion a reality because I firmly believe it will be viewed as a missed opportunity if we miss out.”
Peter Kitchen’s prediction: Crawley Town 1-1 Leyton Orient
Jeevesie’s prediction: Crawley Town 2-1 Leyton Orient