Peter Kitchen: In-form O’s can’t afford to lose momentum

Brian Jeeves

Leyton Orient v Sutton United – Sky Bet League Two – Brisbane Road – Saturday (3pm) – Preview

Peter Kitchen is hoping that the current cold snap doesn’t affect Leyton Orient’s Sky Bet League Two clash with Sutton United at Brisbane Road on Saturday.

Freezing temperatures saw the O’s trip to Crewe Alexandra postponed last weekend and the former frontman doesn’t want the East Londoners, currently topping the table with a four-point advantage, to lose any further momentum.

“Whilst a week off at this stage of the season can usually be viewed as an unexpected bonus, allowing players some rest and recuperation and a chance to get rid of any niggling injury worries, the downside is that there is a very real danger that the teams’ rhythm and momentum could be curtailed with another postponement,” he told Yellow Sport

“We saw the effects of a long lay-off this time last season when Kenny Jacket’s O’s, handily placed in the play-off positions, endured an enforced four-week sabbatical due to the COVID pandemic which turned into a sixteen-match winless run and ended with Jacket losing his job. 

“I don’t think it’s anywhere near as bad as that this term. Richie Wellens’ O’s side has progressed exponentially ahead of last season’s team, having completely dominated League Two almost from the first game of the season.”

Kitchen continued: “We have some very impressive statistics to back up our record-breaking season so far, with more wins and more points, fifteen and forty-eight respectively, as well as twelve clean sheets from twenty games – more than any other team in the top four tiers of the EFL. 

“Before the Crewe postponement, we were on a superb run of form following wins at Harrogate Town and Stockport County, then turning in one of the best performances of the season to record a 3-0 thumping of an in-form fifth-placed Bradford City at Brisbane Road. 

“With second-placed Stevenage only managing a home draw last week against Mansfield Town, we are four points clear at the top with a game in hand. It’s crucial that this game goes ahead and we have the chance to continue this rich vein of form and get straight back to winning ways.”

Looking ahead to Sutton’s visit to east London, Kitchen added: “So far this season, they have been fairly inconsistent and sit sixteenth in the table. This game looks like a run-of-the-mill fixture we should win comfortably. However, The Yellows’ recent results are showing an improving trend with 1-0 wins at home against Colchester United and Rochdale either side of a 1-1 draw away at sixth-placed Carlisle United. This would indicate that they will be well organised defensively at the expense of attacking intent because their two wins came courtesy of a penalty and direct from a corner. 

“They will be tight at the back and difficult to break down but with limited attacking options, I can’t see them breaching the best defence in the division. This will be a test of our patience and our ability to score against a team who will park the bus. We cant be pedestrian and slow with the build-up as it will allow them to get men behind the ball and play into them defensively. 

“It’s vital that we move the ball quickly in the final third and not be wasteful, so when the chances arise, we need to be ruthless and ensure that we take them.” 

Peter Kitchen’s prediction: Leyton Orient 2-0 Sutton United

Jeevesie’s prediction: Leyton Orient 1-0 Sutton United

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Brian Jeeves

Email: sport@yellowad.co.uk