Nolan aspires to hit heights of Northampton
13:30 18 February 2016
Simon O'Connor Photography
After frustrating loss at Brisbane Road, the east Londoners are back on the road this Saturday
Leyton Orient player-manager Kevin Nolan wants to use the heavy defeat they suffered at home to Northampton Town last weekend to spur his squad on.
The O’s were hoping to make another statement of intent after registering a fine 1-0 victory at Portsmouth on February 6.
But it was the Cobblers that departed Brisbane Road with the points and a display which showed the hosts how it is done.
Nolan’s men matched the visitors in the first 45, but failed to keep up those standards and goals from Rod McDonald, Ricky Holmes and a James Collins brace handed the plaudits to the League Two leaders – who look well placed to go on and take the title.
Orient’s push for promotion will need to get back on track at Notts County this weekend.
“I haven’t looked at the league, I haven’t really taken notice of the standings whether we have won or lost,” said Nolan. “As long as we are in and about the play-offs come the end of the season, that is the main thing to me.
“We have a long way to go, this defeat is a nice awakening for the boys and something that I hope will spur us on to make sure we go on a good run between now and the end of the campaign.”
The loss sees Orient drop to ninth in the table and two points off the top seven. It seems one week they move back into the play-offs and the next they are out of it again.
Nolan accepts that it is consistency and the lack of it in Orient’s case which is why Cobblers are sitting top of the pile and while his east Londoners are struggling to earn automatic promotion.
Northampton’s triumph at Brisbane Road was their seventh consecutive success in the division, O’s best run was five and that occurred back in August.
“I think we’ve come up against a team that will probably win the league if they continue to play how they have,” added Nolan.
“You don’t go on a run of 11 wins out of 12 if you’re not going to be there or thereabouts this season.
“They’re fantastic and very efficient in what they do. They do the right thing and what has been asked by their manager nine times out of ten.
“I need to get that into my squad and with a bit more work week to week, I think we can get there.
“But this is a big kick up the backside about what we need to make sure we can go on and get the success we want.”
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Cobblers’ display is the fact they were never resting on their laurels and always keen to try and create the next attack.
Holmes was exceptional and his strike capped a wonderful display by the former Portsmouth man.
Three of Northampton’s four goals were of the highest quality as the hosts should have defended better for Collins’ first, a close-range finish from a corner kick.
While a defeat against the best in the division can sometimes be written off as a bad day at the office, Orient certainly do need to learn from this.
The O’s have dominated a lot of matches this year in League Two and yet their best winning margin is 3-0 against Stevenage.
Cobblers were only on top for 45 minutes and yet walked away with a stunning four-goal success.
Nolan needs to instil in this squad a hunger to never be satisfied with what they have and to always push on to achieve more success, just like Northampton.
It won’t happen overnight, but it needs to be implemented at E10.