Kitch concedes that O’s are still a little way short

Cheltenham Town 1-0 Leyton Orient – Reaction

Peter Kitchen offered an honest assessment of Leyton Orient’s Sky Bet League Two defeat at Cheltenham Town, suggesting the O’s are still some way from where they want to be despite their recent improvement under the guidance of Jobi McAnuff.

It was a battling and reasonably resolute performance from the East Londoners. However, it was the Robins who snaffled the points thanks to a Conor Thomas penalty after O’s stopper, Lawrence Vigouroux had pulled down Andy Williams.

The victory sent Cheltenham to the top of the table, while Orient slipped to twelfth, four points shy of the play-off places.

“It’s not mathematically impossible but I think we would need to win every one of our remaining six games and hope for other results go our way,” Kitchen told Yellow Sport.

“Cheltenham dominated the first half and should have scored more, but their wayward finishing kept us in touch at the break. They carried on where they left off after the break, prompting Jobi to bring on another striker and give us another outlet. Although we got the ball forward and pushed Cheltenham back, we only had a Dan Kemp effort of note which tested Robins keeper, Josh Griffiths.

Kitchen added: “Summing up our performance, it was the same lack of creativity – the three forwards playing in isolation, having little support and not picking up the loose ball. Our distribution was largely hopeful, long balls punted forward from the back but with insufficient targets or physical presence.

“We are playing a system that might make us look more solid defensively, but doesn’t offer the team enough going forward. We can’t play every game hoping for a wayward back pass or a defensive slip for our chances. We need to play a higher line and put opposition defences under more pressure.

“The boys in the studio were critical of Cheltenham’s quality, but for me, they showed why they are one of the best teams in this league.

“They looked like a group who believed in the way they are playing and the jobs they were asked to do, which they did very effectively. They utilise a system and tactics that highlights the player’s strengths to the maximum and they relentlessly put the O’s defence under pressure by launching the ball into the box at every opportunity, looking to pick up the loose balls or knockdowns.

“Their long-throw specialist, Ben Tozer created panic and mayhem at every opportunity. Cheltenham are a side that has multiple goal threats used advantageously at every opportunity.

“It was a disappointing afternoon for Orient, but we must now regroup and prepare to bounce back against Harrogate Town on Tuesday.”

Brian Jeeves

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