Peter Kitchen: Tough tests ahead for Embleton and O’s

Brian Jeeves

Port Vale v Leyton Orient – Vale Park – Sky Bet League Two – Saturday 3pm

Port Vale v Leyton Orient – Preview:

A 1-1 draw with in-form Grimsby Town has given Ross Embleton and his Leyton Orient side something to build on as they look to climb away from the foot of the Sky Bet League Two table.

Nevertheless, the performance once again highlighted the O’s need to strengthen their squad and with two tough matches on the immediate horizon, Peter Kitchen is concerned that a lack of quality could prove costly as the east Londoners try to find some stability and consistency, leading to an altogether more healthy league position.

The O’s head to Port Vale on Saturday before entertaining Northampton Town during the week. Vale’s recent good run of form was concluded by struggling Morecambe on Tuesday evening, a result which Kitchen insisted offered Orient encouragement.

“Vale hadn’t lost in six league matches before Morecambe – clearly they can be beaten,” the former frontman told Yellow Sport.

“Ross will be keen to get his first win since taking charge on a full-time basis – particularly as Orient have won only once in thirteen outings.

“The team has improved recently. Endeavour and spirit cannot be questioned. However, we lack a bit of extra quality in the final third to see teams off.

“This in itself causes an issue because however well you play, if you are not winning you become nervous and anxious – decision making is affected and confidence begins to slip.

“On a positive, Orient seem to be better away from home. They set up with three central defenders, invite the home side on, surrendering the space while attacking on the break.

“This tactic is fine as long as you don’t concede an early goal then have to change the system and chase the game. We will need to be watertight, particularly facing the likes of Tom Pope, who has found the net eight times this season.”

Kitchen continued: “Ross will be working hard behind the scenes to bring in some new faces – whether we will see any additions at the weekend remains to be seen.

“But he needs to add some quality in key positions. Any new player will immediately be under scrutiny because the supporters see each new signing as an indication of the football clubs ambitions going forward.

“There’s nothing like a few new faces to lift the fans and offer the current group further motivation and competition for places. If Ross is successful during the transfer window and picks up a couple of victories along the way, it will be seen as a real statement of intent as we build towards next season.”

Port Vale v Leyton Orient – Head to head:

Port Vale won: 33
Drawn: 9
Leyton Orient won: 18

Port Vale v Leyton Orient – Last five meetings (all competitions):

September 14, 2013 – League One
Leyton Orient 3-2 Port Vale

March 11, 2014 – League One
Port Vale 0-2 Leyton Orient

October 25, 2014 – League One
Port Vale 3-0 Leyton Orient

March 28, 2015 – League One
Leyton Orient 3-1 Port Vale

September 28, 2019 – League Two
Leyton Orient 3-3 Port Vale

Peter Kitchen’s prediction: Port Vale 1-1 Leyton Orient
Jeevesie’s prediction: Port Vale 2-1 Leyton Orient

Brian Jeeves