Andy Edwards hails Leyton Orient fans and display of his team after brave effort against League Two leaders Plymouth Argyle

Andy Edwards is in charge of Leyton Orient for the interim (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Andy Edwards is in charge of Leyton Orient for the interim (pic: Simon O'Connor). - Credit: Archant

Interim boss admits he doesn’t know if he wants the job on permanent basis, but refutes claims that Francesco Becchetti was involved in team selection

Andy Edwards hailed the Leyton Orient supporters and his team after they put in a brave effort during tonight’s 2-0 defeat to Plymouth Argyle.

The O’s were a goal down inside 15 minutes following Jimmy Spencer’s effort and reduced to nine men as well.

Robbie Weir and Jens Janse, the latter on debut, were both given their marching orders by referee Charles Breakspear.

But Orient produced a performance of character and determination and didn’t concede a second until the 86th minute when Ryan Donaldson tapped home.

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All of the O’s supporters clapped the home players after the goal and did the same at the full time whistle.

Edwards said: “It is strange to lose the game 2-0 and have such a fantastic reaction. The fans were first-class today.

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“We understand their frustration, I do and they expect us to be at the top and we do too. The owner has invested in the club and wants a return and rightly so.

“I thought the supporters were fantastic tonight and that’s important and we have to take it with us. I said to the players when supporters see commitment, application and that togetherness – they’ll back you all the way. The ability we’ve got in the side we can only move up the table.”

Orient’s interim boss admitted he was unsure if he wanted the job on a permanent basis despite seeing the players give him a big reaction.

And he refuted claims O’s president Francesco Becchetti had anything to do with selecting the team for the match.

“I don’t know if I want it permanently. It is not something I’ve considered and for me the only thought process was getting the team prepared for tonight and hopefully get a win – that was the challenge, and then see what happens Saturday. It is a new game and we’ll prepare for that the best we can,” said Edwards.

He continued: “Every owner has got an opinion. Every supporter has and everybody within the club – staff as well. We’ve all got opinions on what the team should be.

“I picked that team tonight along with Danny Webb and that is what we felt was the right team for tonight’s game. I can’t comment for Andy Hessenthaler, I will only comment on myself and the situation I’m in.”

Edwards did reveal he was disappointed to see Hessenthaler lose his job yesterday afternoon. He added: “I was surprised to an extent. It is disappointing to see anyone lose their job and I worked closely with Andy for over a year now. He is an experienced man and a change has been made and for me personally I have to look forward now.

“The club needs success and we need to perform on the pitch. We’ve got a good squad of players and we’re underperforming at the moment.

“I’ve said to the players it is fine lines. We’ve lost games on set pieces or on crosses and a lack of concentration. It really is small margins that is the difference between success and failure.”

Again Orient suffered defeat tonight, but the players were praised by Edwards and he appreciated their effort.

“I thought we defended with intelligence, we played with intelligence and on the counter-attack we looked a threat,” said the O’s interim boss.

“We didn’t quite get that final pass or shot to test the goalkeeper and we felt if we could stay in it and keep it 1-0 with say 10 minutes to go we could open up and gamble.”

Edwards also revealed he was disappointed with Weir’s second off, but conceded he had no complaints about Janse’s, adding: “For me Robbie’s is a yellow at most.

“I don’t think the referee had a clear view of it because there was players in between him and the challenge. I can’t for the life of me see how he has given it.

“The second was a red card. Jens was the last player and we got caught on the counter attack from a set piece. The lad got there before him and I felt that was a sending off, but it is an uphill battle with 10 men and to go down to nine I was disappointed to say the least.”

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