Leyton Orient have ‘more confidence’ ahead of Grimsby Town clash insists defender Callum Kennedy
PUBLISHED: 16:00 10 March 2017
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O’s left-back looks ahead to Mariners match and reflects on his saved penalty during the 1-0 defeat to Cheltenham Town
Callum Kennedy was pleased Leyton Orient got what they deserved at Newport County last weekend, but knows they have to back it up when Grimsby Town visit Brisbane Road tomorrow.
The previous meeting back on August 20 saw O’s claim a 2-1 win at Blundell Park, but a lot has changed at the League Two clubs since.
Both teams have new managers and Orient boss Danny Webb will be eager for his side to earn a second consecutive victory.
Kennedy said: “The last meeting was right at the start of the season and I imagine we have got a near-on completely different starting XI compared to the first game.
“It is obviously going to be a different kettle of fish, but we will go into it with a bit more confidence after the 4-0 win against Newport.
“We scored goals and kept a clean sheet, so it bodes well for this weekend, but it is going to be a tough game and won’t be easy.
“Even though some of the results haven’t gone well I think you can definitely see over the last seven or eight games that the performance levels have improved.
“If the performances and the daily effort is of a certain intensity then only good things can come of that and last Saturday at Newport was what we deserved.
“We had deserved that for a few weeks now, except for Stevenage game, so it was a nice feeling, but again we can’t dwell on any performances now because it is bigger than that. We need results to stay in this league.”
Orient last played at Brisbane Road on February 25 and suffered a frustrating 1-0 loss to relegation rivals Cheltenham Town.
It was a tough defeat to take and especially after O’s wasted the chance to draw level when they were awarded a second half penalty.
Kennedy stepped up and saw his low effort saved by Robins goalkeeper Scott Brown and it proved costly for Webb’s team.
The former AFC Wimbledon left-back was criticised after the game, but has opened up about why he took the spot-kick.
“We won the penalty and I would like to think I am the sort of person who would step up and take responsibility and that’s exactly what I tried to do,” said Kennedy.
“I was desperate to get us a point and help us go on and win the game, so I decided I wanted to take that into my own hands and unfortunately I missed.
“I beat myself up about it that night, but I would never shy away from stepping up to anything like that and if the situation arose again I would take the penalty because I’d rather step up and fail than watch it be handed over to somebody else. Obviously in my head I felt very confident and it got saved, but I would step forward again.
“The performances against Notts County and Cheltenham where we didn’t get anything were a kick in the teeth, but at the same time the bare minimum you need is a performance.
“We have been doing that, so I feel like we haven’t had the rub of the green and everything that could have gone wrong has, but when we played Newport it seemed like everything came together and the feeling after was that we deserved the win, but we have to build on it this Saturday.”
Orient will be without Gavin Massey again this weekend after he picked up his 10th booking of the season at Stevenage on February 28.
Steven Alzate deputised for the wide-man at Newport and took his opportunity by producing an impressive performance.
Kennedy added: “Gavin, for me, has probably been the one stand-out player of the season and if we were sitting here talking about his personal season then he has done his job and more.
“He is a very good player who is going to have a big future and he could play much higher than League Two. As a full-back he is not the sort of player I would want to come up against every week because he causes problems, he is quick and direct, so he is a big miss.
“But at the same time you look at Steven’s performance on Saturday and he slotted straight in there nicely. He won a penalty and scored a goal, so we are looking for more of the same from him against Grimsby.
“Knowing we have Gavin back on Tuesday gives us really nice options for the first time in a long time. If we can do the job on Saturday then we are building more confidence and momentum and we will go into the Accrington game with even more belief.”
Kennedy was criticised after his saved penalty, but his attitude is exactly what Orient need right now if they are to avoid relegation.