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Leyton Orient v Grimsby Town – Sky Bet League Two – Breyer Group Stadium – Saturday 5:30pm – Preview
Peter Kitchen confessed he is concerned that Leyton Orient’s season could crumble before it has really started after their winless run was extended to four games at Walsall on Tuesday evening.
The O’s have picked up just two points from a possible twelve since winning at Oldham on the opening day of the season and their former frontman has called for action before the East Londoners become embroiled in a relegation battle.
“As I said before the Walsall game, it is still early days and we can still challenge for promotion – but we need to see positive signs and they have become less frequent of late,” he told Yellow Sport.
Orient now face a Grimsby Town side heading to the capital off the back of an impressive 3-1 victory at Cheltenham Town during the week. Another setback for Ross Embleton’s men could see them slip further towards the dropzone if other results earlier in the day go against them.
“We need to find the winning formula, otherwise we could very quickly find ourselves in a difficult situation,” Kitchen continued.
“Grimsby has picked up four points on the road this week and now have an opportunity to leapfrog us. They have an experienced and wily old campaigner in Ian Holloway as manager, who will demand further improvement from his side. It’s certainly not a home banker for Orient.”
Kitchen cast an eye back over the O’s midweek defeat at the Banks’s Stadium: “It was a poor performance,” he added.
“The side looked tentative and lack consistency and their recent form is showing up the frailties and limitations within the squad.
“Ross still doesn’t appear to have identified his best team and there have been too many unnecessary and unenforced changes to both the line-up and systems employed which doesn’t allow the team to gel or find their rhythm and build any understanding amongst players in key areas.
“This is a naive O’s team who often contribute to their own downfall. At times, and at the risk of repeating myself, they need to learn how to dictate the play without leaving themselves exposed and vulnerable at the back.
Turning his attention back to the visit of the Mariners, Kitchen said: “This is a crucial match for both teams in terms of the result but especially for Orient who have yet to make the Breyer Group Stadium anything like a fortress which teams are fearful of coming to play at,
On the plus side, Danny Johnson continued his goalscoring streak at Walsall, while the evergreen Jobi McAnuff is a perfect example in terms of work-rate, effort and quality.
“I’m hopeful that the necessity of a win will encourage a more positive approach and performance from the home team, lifting us out of the bottom half of the table.”
Peter Kitchen’s prediction: Leyton Orient 2-1 Grimsby Town
Jeevesie’s prediction: Leyton Orient 1-1 Grimsby Town