Leyton Orient v Tranmere Rovers – Emirates FA Cup Second Round – Breyer Group Stadium – Saturday (3pm) – Preview
Peter Kitchen believes Leyton Orient have an excellent opportunity to make Emirates FA Cup progress, providing the prospect of a lucrative third-round tie with one of the Premier League’s big clubs.
The O’s welcome fellow Sky Bet League Two outfit, Tranmere Rovers to E10 and although the East Londoners followed up last weekends league defeat at Northampton with a Papa John’s Trophy setback against MK Dons, Kitch thinks his former club are well-equipped to deal with the Birkenhead side.
“It’s entirely in our own hands – We should have nothing to fear from Tranmere, who are below us in the league,” Kitchen told Yellow Sport.
“Admittedly, It won’t be an easy game, far from it. Tranmere plan to be in the hat on Monday too, hoping for a plumb draw.
“The early rounds of the cup offer a great opportunity for managers and players to ditch the shackles and tactical inertia that can sometimes limit their freedom and have a go in a game that has to be won.”
Kitchen remains concerned over Orient’s inconsistencies in attack: “We produced a creditable performance in the Papa John’s Trophy against a strong League One MK Dons side during the week.
“Kenny Jackett made several changes, bringing in one or two academy players who acquitted themselves admirably. But the same failing from recent weeks, failing to convert chances, remains the major stumbling block, with only one goal coming in the last three outings.
“For the first time, the Manager came in for criticism on social media after last Saturdays 1-0 defeat at Sixfields, when he used all his substitutes but didn’t change the system during the second half when we were desperately seeking an equaliser.
“Although it was a top of the table encounter, this criticism may or may not be justified. But there is a preference of playing with three centre backs and Archibald in a withdrawn position. Similar criticisms were aimed at Ross Embleton last season when James Brophy was continually played at left-back.
“Every fan will have their views of who should play where, and which system the manager employs. The manager can only justify his decision when the team are getting results.”
Kitch concluded: “We are all hoping for a decent FA Cup run. The competition retains its romance with the lower league teams.
“We can win this game. We need to raise our recent level of performance and get back to playing on the front foot, with a high press and rediscovering our killer instinct in front of goal.”
Peter Kitchen’s prediction: Leyton Orient 2-1 Tranmere Rovers
Jeevesie’s prediction: Leyton Orient 1-0 Tranmere Rovers