Kitch hopes O’s are about to turn the corner

Brian Jeeves
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Leyton Orient v Colchester United – Sky Bet League Two – Breyer Group Stadium – Saturday (3pm) – Preview

Peter Kitchen insisted that Leyton Orient’s slim Sky Bet League Two play-off ambitions are very much in the last chance saloon when improving Colchester United visit the Breyer Group Stadium on Saturday.

While Orient’s winless sequence extended to seven matches following Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at Bradford City, the U’s arrive in East London unbeaten in three under the guidance of interim boss, Wayne Brown.

“On paper, this game appears to offer us the best chance to turn things around ahead of fixtures against Exeter, Salford, Harrogate and Bristol Rovers,” Kitchen told Yellow Sport.

“However, while Orient attempt to salvage something from the season, we must be mindful that Colchester has significantly strengthened ahead of the transfer window closing and have displayed a huge improvement since they made a change in the managerial department.

“Colchester moved up to fourth from bottom during the week – Eight points clear of the relegation zone. The U’s have enjoyed a mini-revival of late, hammering Salford 3-0 on the road, then picking up useful draws against Swindon and Rochdale – Grabbing a deserved point against the Robins despite being reduced to nine men. It certainly provided enough evidence to suggest that they have regained their fighting spirit.

“The U’s have recently signed much-travelled striker, John Akinde. Prolific during his time at Barnet and involved in Colchester’s stoppage-time equaliser against Swindon on his debut.”

Kitch continued: “But I think we are going into this one buoyed by the display at Valley Parade.

“Okay, the 1-1 draw didn’t end the bad run, but the performance was a little better and we finally managed to find the net after more than five hundred minutes without scoring a goal.

“Boss, Kenny Jackett shook things up, opting for a flat back four and several changes of personnel and Loanee, George Ray named on the bench. There was plenty for Kenny to be positive about.

“We showed spirit, worked hard as a team and there was definitely more attacking intent and urgency about their play. We got the ball forward more quickly, although, to be critical, largely inaccurately.

The lack of creativity in the final third was still evident. We need to play more into Smith and Drinan for them to link up the play. They received very little service where it mattered during the game.

“New signing Otis Khan looked like the O’s standout player. If he and Archibald can do their work on the flanks, 15-20 yards further forward, then I am confident the goals will start to flow again.

“I am hopeful that the O’s have turned a corner and we will see them return to the form they showed earlier in the campaign. An early goal would certainly give us the impetus and confidence needed to go on and get a few more.”

Peter Kitchen’s prediction: Leyton Orient 2-1 Colchester United
Jeevesie’s prediction: Leyton Orient 1-1 Colchester United


Brian Jeeves