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Slade explains change in Orient’s tactics and bemoans individual errors in Sheffield United draw

Orient manager Russell Slade, Pic by Simon O'Connor Orient manager Russell Slade, Pic by Simon O'Connor

Saturday, April 5, 2014
10:19 PM

There was a change in formation as Kevin Lisbie ploughed a lone furrow in Orient’s 1-1 draw at Sheffield United.

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But it was a lapse in concentration from defender Mathieu Baudry which allowed Jamie Murphy in to equalise for the Blades.

And it is these individual mistakes that have rendered Orient outsiders for automatic promotion, according to manager Russell Slade.

“I thought we played some great football and Dean Cox scored a great goal,” he said.

“But we need to keep that focus and belief. Perhaps we lost a bit of concentration and that individual mistake cost us dearly. We seem to be getting punished for them at the moment.

“Automatic promotion is going to be difficult for us now but there are still five games to go and we need to go into them with the right attitude, belief and spirit that got us to the top of the league in the first place.

It is one win in seven League One games for the O’s – form has deserted Slade’s men at just the wrong time.

They are eight points behind second placed Brentford, who have a game in hand.

Coupled with Rotherham’s last gasp win at Gillingham, it dropped Orient to fourth in the table – their lowest position this season.

One area of concern is a lack of goals for the striker. The last front man to score was top scorer David Mooney in the win over Colchester United on March 1 and Kevin Lisbie is without a goal since scoring against Bristol City on February 11.

Slade said: “It’s been a while since the strikers scored.

“But fortunately we contribute from other areas. Coxy and Mo (Odubajo) are both in double figures, we have threats all over the pitch.

“The strikers will drift in and drift out but we need them to return to form sooner rather than later.

“But I did think Kevin Lisbie’s performance was excellent. He looked 25 not 35.”

Slade confirmed that Romain Vincelot missed the game with bruising on his foot despite being available selection after serving a suspension.

Cox came off with a slight knee injury but should be available for next weekend’s clash with Gillingham.

The O’s boss reserved some kind words for the almost 700 travelling fans as they witnessed their team extend their away record to just two defeats in 21 league games this season.

Coventry and Rotherham are the only teams to beat them on their travels and Slade said: “The travelling support is always excellent.

“We’ve lost two away games and we’ve only got two more to go (Crawley and MK Dons). It’s a fantastic achievement for the club.”

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