Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh highlights that it’s a key time for his side as they look to maintain their position at the top of the National League. Orient’s lead was cut to the three points at the top following their defeat on Boxing Day and Edinburgh wants his side to bounce back at Dover today. Speaking to leytonorient.com “we spoke as a group the second half of the season is so different to the first. The games are running out, in the early part, there was always another game. We’re in the toughest part of the season now”.
- Sit 1st on 53 points
- Two defeats in last four games
- Two defeats in last 12 league games – W7 D3 L2
- League Record – P26 W15 D8 L3 F48 A1
The O’s fell to their second successive away defeat after a 2-1 loss at Dagenham & Redbridge on Boxing Day. Josh Koroma grabbed his ninth goal of the season to put Orient ahead but two goals in the last 13 minutes from Alexander McQueen and Ben Nunn inflicted defeat. Edinburgh was disappointed with his side squandering a lead, stating to leytonorient.com “it is very unlike us when we take the lead to let it slip and the way we let it slip. We switched off at time as if we were losing the game, it is very much unlike us to allow those goals to be scored against us”.
Goalkeeper Dean Brill has played every minute since Justin Edinburgh’s arrival back in November 2017 and was disappointed with how side conceded on Boxing Day. The 33 year old pulled off some key saves in the first half to keep the scores level, providing a strong base for his side. Speaking to leytonorient.com “it’s not what we’re about, we have got a very good defensive record, we take pride in that. We know we are going to concede goals but in the manner we did is not acceptable. As a team we’re disappointed and we put it right and go again”.
The Boxing day defeat was the first time under Edinburgh, Orient had conceded more than one goal in an away league match.
- Kept 11 league clean sheets
- Second best defensive record in league
- No clean sheet in last two
- One in last four games in all competitions
- Three in last six league games
- Only one in last five away games
The O’s grew into the contest at Victoria Road and enjoyed the majority of the second half and duly went ahead through Josh Koroma. Uncharacteristically, Orient conceded two late goals to fall to defeat, their first league defeat in 23 games after scoring first. Edinburgh thought his side competed well and stated to leytonorient.com “we had to weather the storm, they started brightly which we understood as they have won a lot of games of late. Once we weathered the storm, the second half we started really well and got 1-0 up, I couldn’t envisage losing the game”.
- Failed to score in four league games
- Scored in last three and four of their last five
- Scored in 12 of their last 13 away league games
- 31/48 goals scored have been in second half (13/23 away)
- Only Harrogate 33 have netted more
- Netted 23/48 goals after the 60th minute
The O’s have taken pride in their away record this season but after successive defeats Brill is looking for a reaction from his side at Dover on Saturday. Orient went the first 11 away league games unbeaten and with back to back home games to start 2019, an away win could set them up nicely to start the year. Speaking to leytonorient.com “we haven’t got time to feel sorry for ourselves, it’s another away game. We’ve lost two on the bounce, we certainly won’t want to be losing three. We will be going there on Saturday to win and stay where we are, top of the league”.
- Away League Record – P13 W7 D4 L2 F23 A10
- Best record in league and top scorers away from home
- Lost back to back away league games – first time since December 2017
- Only lost two of their last 14 away league matches – W8 D4 L2
- Five of their seven wins have been by two or more goals
Saturday’s fixture at Dover is Orient’s last of 2018 and the former Tottenham defender acknowledges that his side are further ahead than he expected at this stage. The O’s sat 19th at the start of the year but with Edinburgh in his second season in charge, Orient are looking to maintain their promotion challenge. Speaking to leytonorient.com “we have come a long way in a short space of time, we are certainly ahead of were we thought we’d be as a club and group. We always say once you’ve got yourself into the position , you mustn’t ever turn down the opportunity which this group hasn’t. It’s been a fantastic 2018″.
- Orient’s 2018 League Record – P45 W23 D14 L8 F71 A30 – 83 points
Captain Jobi McAnuff is a doubt after suffering a fractured toe whilst James Dayton, Myles Judd and Charlie Grainger remain sidelined through injury. Midfielder Charlie Lee should overcome a head injury that forced him off on Boxing Day. Matt Harrold is pushing for a starting place in attack after his cameo at Dagenham on Boxing Day.
Head to Head – Leyton Orient 2, Draw 1, Dover Athletic 1
Last Time Out – 2-1 defeat at Dagenham
Prediction – Dover Athletic 1-1 Leyton Orient