Kitchen confused by lacklustre O’s

Southend United 2-1 Leyton Orient – Reaction

Peter Kitchen cast an accusing glance over the Leyton Orient players after they were out-fought by struggling neighbours, Southend United at Roots Hall Stadium.

The Shrimpers – without a win or a goal at Roots Hall since January and their 100-year Football League status hanging by a thread – displayed courage and commitment in the face of a dismal O’s response.

“This was the week that highlighted the O’s frailties in the team and the squad,” Kitchen told Yellow Sport.

“We have played against sides from the top and bottom of League Two over the past few days who have ended our pretensions of grabbing a play-off place.

After giving it our best shot against a Cambridge side who will almost certainly be in League One next season – which proved to be a bridge too far – we simply weren’t good enough to challenge a team that looked set to drop out of the league following the worst campaign in their history.

“Orient fans won’t want to hear it, but Southend out-fought us. It was a very disappointing performance, reminiscent of those served up earlier in the season with lots of possession, but too many square and back passes and little end product and described this afternoon on Sky sports as Insipid.”

The O’s went behind when Tyler Cordner headed in for the home side three minutes before the interval. However, Louis Dennis restored parity in stoppage-time at the end of the half.

After the break, it was Southend who displayed more fight – they were rewarded when young substitute Matt Rush bagged the winner in the 76th minute.

Kitchen continued: “It was an O’s performance that lacked desire, passion, creativity and a finished product. But overall, there is a lack of characters and leadership on the pitch and nothing on the bench capable of changing things.

“Even Jobi looked very disappointed after the game and appeared somewhat baffled by the performance, but it’s a very important week for him, hoping the team can finish strongly and he can make his temporary appointment a permanent one.

“We have two games remaining against teams still in the hunt for a play-off place. It’s all about honesty now and showing some fight which was clearly missing from the group at Roots Hall.”

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Brian Jeeves

Email: [email protected]