Peter Kitchen: Brewers will provide O’s with a tough test

Brian Jeeves
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Burton Albion v Leyton Orient – Sky Bet League One – Pirelli Stadium – Saturday (3pm) – Preview

Peter Kitchen is expecting Leyton Orient to face a tough test when they head to the Pirelli Stadium to face fellow mid-table outfit Burton Albion in Sky Bet League One on Saturday.

Shaq Forde’s goal deep into stoppage time earned the O’s a share of the spoils at Northampton Town on Tuesday, extending their unbeaten league sequence to four matches. Meanwhile, Burton was beaten at Carlisle United by the odd goal in three, ending their run of four wins on the bounce.

“Before Tuesday, Burton had been on a tremendous run,” Kitchen told Yellow Sport.

“The Brewers made a very poor start to their season. They were without a league win until their eighth game, losing their three opening matches and picking up just two points from the opening seven.

“Manager Dino Maamria must have eventually found the right combination for his team, because, before their loss at Carlisle they were unbeaten in seven, winning five, including the last four. During that period they moved from next to bottom, up to eleventh. They will be looking to bounce back from that defeat in front of their own fans.

Kitchen continued: “The O’s, like their opponents, have also turned around their season. After a very poor start, losing our opening three games, we have lost only one of the last eight and are now looking very established in the division. On Tuesday night, we rescued a valuable point at Northampton, with an added time goal in the ninety-sixth minute from substitute Forde. But in reality, we should have taken all three points but for ten minutes of madness.

“During this time, we lost our discipline and made a couple of elementary mistakes allowing Sam Hoskins to net a three-minute brace – the last from the penalty spot after Akin Odimayo was felled in the box. The Cobblers then shot themselves in the foot when Bowie was shown a red card for an apparent headbutt, allowing the O’s to get back on top and but for poor finishing, we should have won the game.”

Kitchen concluded: “This O’s team have adapted well over the last couple of months and is now showing the mental toughness and spirit they had last season and their performances are such that they no longer look like the new team on the block.

“There’s a resilience about the group and a never-say-die attitude. If we can continue in this vein, we will only get better. I said before and after the Barnsley game, with our dominance, we must start converting more of our chances, show more composure and make better decisions in the last third. If we improve this just a little bit, we will be picking up three points, not just the one from each of our last two games. Had we got those six points instead of just the two and not lost the three from the abandoned Lincoln game, we would already be in the play-off places and that is brilliant progress.

This shows how it’s just fine margins. From what I’ve seen so far this season, we are more than capable of holding our own up there. It’s eleventh versus twelfth on Saturday and a chance for the O’s to get back to winning ways and push on. I think it will be a tight game, but we need to keep playing in the same vein and building momentum and I’m hopeful we can take all three points.”

Peter Kitchen’s prediction: Burton Albion 1-2 Leyton Orient
Jeevesie’s prediction: Burton Albion 1-1 Leyton Orient

Brian Jeeves