Leyton Orient v Harrogate Town – Sky Bet League Two – Breyer Group Stadium – Saturday 3pm – Preview
Peter Kitchen admitted that it is very difficult to predict which Leyton Orient will turn up at the moment.
A tough start to the campaign was followed by a four-match unbeaten sequence. However, the Brisbane Road outfit appears to have lost continuity and last Saturday’s defeat at Colchester United was their fourth on the bounce in all competitions.
The O’s welcome Sky Bet League Two new boys, Harrogate Town, to E10 this weekend, a game both sides must target if they harbour ambitions of a top-seven slot. Nevertheless, Kitchen remains uncertain about the prospects of his former club as they continue to flounder towards the middle of the table.
“With no midweek game for the first time in several weeks, Ross as now had a week to work with the players, however until he announces his team, It is difficult to guess how he will approach this game and I’m not sure yet if he does himself?” the former frontman told Yellow Sport.
“The continual squad rotation and system changes have left a lot of fans bemused – it can’t be good for the players either. Ross needs to draw a line in the sand and to try and get the cohesion, positivity and belief back into his team – quickly!
“My view, and assuming he has all his players available, would be to go at Harrogate from the start by picking his best team, with Jobi McAnuff and Craig Clay in midfield, James Brophy much further forward where he will cause Harrogate problems, and the return of leading scorer Danny Johnson an absolute ‘must happen’ selection.”
Kitchen continued: “A couple of weeks ago we seemed set to propel ourselves towards the leading pack. But all that momentum has now gone leaving us desperate to find something against a tough Harrogate side that has done well on the road and otherwise settled into life in the league reasonably comfortably.
“We need to show the same attacking intent evident against Bolton because this is a game the manager can ill afford to lose. Anything less than an ‘all-out’ performance will be met with further despondency from the fans and will heap further unwanted pressure on Ross himself.”
Peter Kitchen’s prediction: Leyton Orient 2-1 Harrogate Town
Jeevesie’s prediction: Leyton Orient 1-1 Harrogate Town