Peter Kitchen: Fletcher takes the reins with Orient in a good place

Grimsby Town v Leyton Orient – Blundell Park – Sky Bet League Two – Saturday 3pm

Grimsby Town v Leyton Orient – Preview:

With the identity of the new Leyton Orient manager finally revealed,
Peter Kitchen assured supporters that the club has a man at the helm who can take them forward.

Carl Fletcher was handed the top job at the Breyer Group Stadium, an appointment which initially received a mixed reaction from sections of the O’s support. Nevertheless, Kitchen was quick to reassure fans that this could prove to be a perfect match.

Speaking to Yellow Sport following the announcement of Fletcher’s appointment, Kitchen said: “This appointment has probably left a lot of O’s fans slightly underwhelmed. However, as a promising young coach who has spent some time with Ernie Howe – one of the most positive and progressive English managers in the game – he will have picked up a wealth of attack-minded ideas which will be very much needed at the O’s if they are to continue to progress up the leagues.

“Carl’s CV is impressive. An extensive playing career which included international caps, coupled with managerial and coaching experience at both Plymouth Argyle and more recently, Bournemouth. That suggests he is ready. Indeed, he was selected from 40 applicants, with the hierarchy taking their time to ensure they have appointed the best man for the job.

“What will be most important if he is to earn the full backing of the O’s fans, is for him to quickly develop a rapport with the players with his coaching and football philosophy, to earn their respect by his man-management and motivational qualities.”

And with Orient just hitting a bit of form under the guidance of interim chief, Ross Embleton, the east Londoners head to Grimsby Town in a decent frame of mind and more than capable of bringing something home from an otherwise tricky trip to Blundell Park.

“This is the first of two difficult away games for Orient but the fans can feel fairly confident that their team will give a very good account of themselves,” Kitchen continued

“Despite the recent uncertainty, Orient appears to be playing with a bit of freedom. I’m sure the players were kept in touch with what was going on and with all that in consideration, the fact they are in touch with the teams just outside the play-off places serves testament as to the strength of their recent response.

“Ross has done a terrific job, steadying the ship. We are now three without defeat, have started to find the net regularly and look a little more sound at the back. Indeed, Carl is inheriting a football club in a good place. Hopefully, he can keep this feelgood factor building and guide us towards the top end of the table.”

Grimsby has slipped of late following a reasonable start to their season. Defeats to Mansfield and struggling Stevenage has left the Mariners in tenth place: “They are taking on an O’s side who are buoyant at the moment and who have started to build the sort of momentum that can see them extending their unbeaten run,” Kitchen added.

“We know that the O’s often save their best performances for the travelling fans – It will be tough, particularly against a side looking for a response. Orient must recreate the competitive spirit that has been a feature of their recent games. A point would be great, but it’s there for the taking.”

Grimsby Town v Leyton Orient – Head to head:

Grimsby Town: 23
Drawn: 14
Leyton Orient won: 18

Grimsby Town v Leyton Orient – Last five meetings (all competitions):

January 15, 2005 – League Two
Leyton Orient 1-2 Grimsby Town

October 22, 2005 – League Two
Grimsby Town 0-1 Leyton Orient

April 17, 2006 – League Two
Leyton Orient 0-0 Grimsby Town

August 20, 2016 – League Two
Grimsby Town 1-2 Leyton Orient

March 11, 2017 – League Two
Leyton Orient 0-3 Grimsby Town

Peter Kitchen’s prediction: Grimsby Town 1-1 Leyton Orient
Jeevesie’s prediction: Grimsby Town 1-2 Leyton Orient


Brian Jeeves