Leyton Orient v Stevenage – Sky Bet League Two – Breyer Group Stadium – Tuesday 7pm – Preview
Peter Kitchen insisted it is as much about the character of the Leyton Orient players as it is their rookie boss, Jobi McAnuff when they take on improving Stevenage at the Breyer Group Stadium on Tuesday evening.
McAnuff was rightly critical of his charges after they were thrashed by four unanswered goals at Exeter City at the weekend and will understandably demand a response.
“For me, that reaction has to be about taking players out of their comfort zone,” Kitchen told Yellow Sport.
“It is about them showing commitment, energy, desire and competing for every ball. If that isn’t evident, they could well get turned over by a Stevenage side, managed by former O’s man, Alex Revell and who haven’t lost in six outings.
“Indeed, Stevenage have beaten promotion-chasing Forest Green and Tranmere Rovers and conceding just one goal during that sequence. This is the first of two home matches for the O’s this week. It offers Jobi an opportunity to bring something different to a team that has been under-performing for some time, whether that be in a change of personnel or system, bringing a different dynamic and better balance to the side, something I believe has to be explored.
Kitchen continued: “In football, whenever there are management changes the club and fans need to see an improvement or a change of direction.
“The play-offs are no longer a realistic aspiration for the O’s so this is the right time to explore different options and provide a foundation for next season.
“Jobi has to identify the players he believes can take the team forward and have the ability to change a game. The supporters at Orient are fair. They will get behind him if they can see what he is trying to achieve and the players are responding by giving their all, which is the minimum requirement.
“I’m sure he’ll be keen to get one over his former club. Jobi had a spell with Stevenage between his two stints at Brisbane Road, linking up with Chairman, Phil Wallace, an O’s fan who tried to buy the club prior to the Barry Hearn years.”
Peter Kitchen’s prediction: Leyton Orient 1-1 Stevenage
Jeevesie’s prediction: Leyton Orient 2-1 Stevenage