Peter Kitchen: Morale and belief must return, and fast!

Leyton Orient 2-4 Forest Green Rovers – Reaction

PETER KITCHEN reflected upon another tough day at the office for Leyton Orient as a 4-2 defeat against promotion-chasing Forest Green Rovers saw the east Londoners dragged closer to the Sky Bet League Two relegation zone.

Orient did display some resilience, recovering from three-goals behind to – albeit too briefly – put pressure on the Gloucestershire outfit, thanks to goals from Matt Harrold and Jordan Maguire-Drew. However, a fourth Forest Green strike put paid to any thoughts of a comeback as Orient’s desperate winless run was extended to five matches.

“The results, and particularly the first-half display, suggests that Orient lack mental strength and leadership both on and off the pitch at the moment,” Kitchen bemoaned.

“Defensively we appear fragile and seem scared to take responsibility. It can happen, I’ve been in the dressing room as a player when things are not going well. You have to pull together, but someone has to stand tall and take everything by the scruff of its neck. The manager, a player or as a group. Regardless of the situation, you have to keep your heads above water.

Kitchen continued: “It is imperative that we try to move on from recent events with the club starting the process of trying to find a new manager sooner rather than later.

“With other teams near the foot of the table picking up points, the O’s are now eighteenth and have been dragged into a relegation battle.

“Orient now have a two-week break from league fixtures before a visit to fellow strugglers, Oldham Athletic. This has now become a far bigger game for the O’s. In the meantime, Ross and the coaching team now have to try and raise morale and try to get the team believing they can win again.”

O’s boss, Ross Embleton, was sent to the stands following an altercation with Rovers boss, Mark Cooper. The latter accused of commenting the touchline regarding the late Justin Edinburgh: “I really hope this isn’t true, but why would Ross react so angrily,” Kitchen said.

“Emotions and tempers were running high – as one would expect. Win or lose, it’s sad that this incident will overshadow a game of football and has clearly left bad blood between the two clubs.”


Brian Jeeves

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