Leyton Orient v Carlisle United – Sky Bet League Two – Breyer Group Stadium – Saturday 3pm – Preview
Defeat at struggling Southend United has left a bitter taste in Peter Kitchen’s mouth as a lacklustre campaign draws to a close for Leyton Orient.
The result at Roots Hall Stadium ended any lingering hopes of a Sky Bet League Two play-off berth – the manor of the setback, in Kitchen’s mind, unacceptable.
But with two matches left to play, the former frontman wants to see some professional pride in the ranks, starting with Saturday’s clash against Carlisle United at the Breyer Group Stadium.
“The result of this game might seem meaningless for both sets of players, however, with Jobi McAnuff expected to be appointed as the O’s boss permanently, he will be looking for a big improvement following the humiliating defeat at Southend,” Kitchen told Yellow Sport.
“Some of the players are out of contract, some are negotiating a new deal. Regardless, they should be playing for their professional lives and personal pride and that simply wasn’t evident at Roots Hall.”
“The manager and supporters want to see a strong finish to the season, but the campaign as a whole has been disjointed and quite tumultuous with several managerial changes and empty stadiums against a backdrop of the pandemic.
“Perhaps the Carlisle game is now less important? But for me, the fans would be a little more excited if they were able to see the team adopt a different system with two central strikers. An expansive offensive performance playing more direct and with passion and desire and not the sterile, turgid brand of football with too much emphasis on midfield holding players and square and backward passing to retain possession and generally underachieving. It has been a style which has defined much of this season and frustrated the fans.”
“Jobi has an opportunity to make changes and be experimental, giving game time to players who have mostly had bit parts for much of the season. It’s an opportunity for them to express their desire to represent Leyton Orient because our fans want to look forward optimistically to some big changes in style, tempo and playing personnel. Failing that, I think we will see a backlash in season ticket sales ahead of next season.”
“In the meantime, we don’t know what to expect until the line-up is announced and will have to wait and see what kind of announcements are forthcoming from the club in the next few days regarding the manager. But we all want to see the O’s progress and challenge. We all remember that feeling we all had when Justin took us up. The club is more than capable of replicating that success in League Two with the right recruitment and thought process throughout the summer.”
Peter Kitchen’s prediction: Leyton Orient 1-1 Carlisle United
Jeevesie’s prediction: Leyton Orient 1-0 Carlisle United