Peter Kitchen: Is Fletcher trying to fix something that wasn’t broken?

Leyton Orient 1-2 Maldon & Tiptree – Reaction

PETER KITCHEN was hugely disappointed to learn of Leyton Orient’s shock Emirates FA Cup demise at the hands of BetVictor Isthmian League North outfit, Maldon & Tiptree and questioned whether the mood had changed at Brisbane Road since the appointment of Carl Fletcher as the O’s manager.

James Dayton’s goal proved insufficient for Orient after Danny Parish and Jorome Slew had netted for the Jammers to provide the biggest shock of the first round. And although Kitchen still backed the new boss to turn things around, he felt unable to defend either the manager or the players following this latest setback.

“It simply wasn’t good enough,” Kitchen told Yellow Sport.

“I know Maldon & Tiptree have done extremely well this season, and I’m not for one minute taking anything away from them, but Orient should have had enough about them to get through this tie.

“The players and manager need to be honest with each other here. The mood in the camp has always struck me as quite positive. All of a sudden, we seem scared to play, making simple errors and above all, not doing the basics.

“I’ve been in the dressing room when a new manager has come to a club. You spend a little time sussing each other out – it can be a little tense. Particularly if, as a player, you are worrying if the new man in the hot seat fancies keeping you at the club.

Kitchen continued: “Has the new manager come in with a different, harder approach? If that is the case, I don’t think he needed to. Of course, I could be wrong. It could simply be a dip in form. But something has changed and it needs to be sorted out quickly.

“I don’t think too much was wrong when Carl arrived. Perhaps he is trying too hard? Looking to fix something that wasn’t really broken?

The O’s now have a week to prepare for struggling Scunthorpe United’s Sky Bet League Two visit to Brisbane Road and Kitchen has urged everyone to pull together as the east Londoners look to recover from their recent slump.

“The manager and players have to pinpoint the issues and sort it out. But we must stay behind them,” the firmer frontman added.

“We know they are decent players – perhaps still finding their way in League Two – but if you are out of form and the crowd start getting stuck into you, it becomes so much harder.

“Saturday is now a massive match – we must approach it positively and draw a line under our recent struggles.”

Brian Jeeves

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