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Leyton Orient v Oldham Athletic – Breyer Group Stadium – Sky Bet League Two – Saturday 3pm
Leyton Orient v Oldham Athletic – Preview:
PETER KITCHEN insisted there is still plenty to play for when Leyton Orient face Oldham Athletic at the Breyer Group Stadium in Sky bet League Two on Saturday.
Both sides have endured an inconsistent season and although any threat of relegation is now minimal, Kitchen wants to see his former club looking ahead positively and taking the three points on offer.
“The game offers Orient a perfect opportunity to bounce back from last week’s frustrating defeat at Cheltenham Town and to show that result and performance was just a blip and that they can continue their recent improvement,” the former frontman told Yellow Sport.
“The Latics are one place and a point below the O’s and were thrashed 5-1 at Exeter City last time out. They are a team treading water with very little to play for apart from professional pride.
“Undoubtedly, Oldham will sit back and try to make it difficult, therefore it is vital that Orient ditch the slow, predictable build-up and passing for possession sake which is easier to defend against.
“We need to get at them, get the fans excited and behind us – get on the front foot quickly. We must exercise these games in the right way.”
Despite their reasonably comfortable league position, Kitchen insisted there was overall importance to the game: “This is a game that Orient must win. Not because we are facing any danger of going down, but simply to show the supporters that the team is making progress.
“It’s not good enough to keep making excuses that the team didn’t defend well enough, lost their concentration or they played too many square passes etc. Ross Embleton must demand more from his squad – prove they are learning from both their performances and their individual mistakes.”
Indeed, Kitchen insisted the match, and the remainder of the season will go some way towards defining Embleton as a manager as much as providing enough evidence on which players are up to the task in hand.
“Ross also has to prove that he is developing as a manager and can be brave enough to try a different tactical plan and formation,” Kitchen added.
“If the fans see a team playing on the front foot, adopting a direct style, especially in the final third, then they will get behind the team irrespective of the result.
“We need to be seeing more players getting forward and more of the ball sent into the penalty area. We now have capable front players, achieve this and goals will come.
“I think everyone would like to see James Brophy playing more as a winger, rather than a wing-back – using his undoubted ability to run at players in the areas where he will cause the most damage to an Oldham defence short on confidence.”
Kitchen continued: “ The O’s players are playing for their professional pride and futures – especially with several out of contract come the end of the season. We should expect to see more passion.
“There are some promising youngsters challenging for places, coupled with the arrival of several new faces recently, there is now competition for places in the squad.
“I get the feeling that we will see a continuing improvement in the team during the final few months of the season. As I said, this is a game I expect us to win. If we can get an early breakthrough, I think we could go on to get a few goals too.”
Leyton Orient v Oldham Athletic – Head to head:
Leyton Orient won: 19
Oldham Athletic won: 26
Leyton Orient v Oldham Athletic – Last five meetings (all competitions):
March 25, 2014 – League One
Leyton Orient 1-1 Oldham Athletic
August 16, 2014 – League One
Oldham Athletic 1-3 Leyton Orient
November 8, 2014 – FA Cup
Oldham Athletic 1-0 Leyton Orient
February 21, 2015 – League One
Leyton Orient 3-0 Oldham Athletic
December 7, 2019 – League Two
Oldham Athletic 1-1 Leyton Orient
Peter Kitchen’s prediction: Leyton Orient 3-1 Oldham Athletic
Jeevesie’s prediction: Leyton Orient 2-1 Oldham Athletic