Callum Kennedy: I’m embarrassed for the Leyton Orient fans who made the trip up to Sheffield United
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
Left-back offers frank assessment after 6-0 thrashing and insists squad have to quickly change their mindset
Callum Kennedy was embarrassed for the Leyton Orient fans that made the trip to Sheffield United yesterday to see their team lose 6-0 in the first round of the FA Cup.
The O’s conceded three times in each half at Bramall Lane to suffer their heaviest defeat since September 28 1982 when they were beaten by the same scoreline at Huddersfield Town in the old Division Three.
And Kennedy was frank in his assessment, he said: “I was embarrassed for myself, the team, but most of all embarrassed for the fans.
“I think I’d be furious if I had travelled up and paid my good money on a Sunday I could have spent with my family to watch that. I’d be raging so they’ve got every right to feel that way.”
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The former AFC Wimbledon defender went on to discuss the mindset of the Orient team when they go behind in games.
Like in recent weeks, Alberto Cavasin’s team started ok at the Blades and were holding their own at times.
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But as soon as Chris Basham opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, there was only going to be one winner.
“As it stands when we go a goal behind instead of steadying the ship and putting things in place to kick on and get back in the game, we seem to go the other way and go into our shell,” said Kennedy.
“Instead of facing the adversity head on, we seem to be taking a step backwards and inviting more pressure.
“It is like anything when you start losing games it becomes a habit just like when you are winning and you have the positive mindset that comes with it. Every time you score a goal you imagine and believe you are going to win the game 2-0.
“But right now when we concede a goal there is elements of people in our team that get the feeling of ‘here we go again’. The only way I know out of that is digging your heels in and working extremely hard to put things right.”
Orient have two matches over the next week to try and win back some pride after another awful result.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) they visit Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-23 team in Southern Group G of the EFL Trophy.
And the real big match is when they travel to local rivals Colchester United in League Two on Saturday looking to try and get out of the relegation zone.
Kennedy added: “Every game is huge. Tuesday night is a huge one because of the reaction off the back of the Sheffield United result.
“Colchester next Saturday is just as big if not bigger. The thing about football is it’s a cruel game. When times are hard it won’t give you any respite, it will punish you again and again if you let it.
“We have to go away, we’ve got one days rest and another match where we need a reaction. Then on Saturday we need to put in a good weeks training that leads to a much better performance than we put in at Sheffield United.”
Although Kennedy, like the majority of his team-mates, was below par yesterday, he does deserve a lot of credit for fronting up after the game when he easily could have shirked his media duties.
The Orient players were heavily criticised for failing to acknowledge the 316 away fans at Bramall Lane except Paul McCallum who did applaud them.
Just under six weeks ago the O’s supporters applauded their team after a 2-0 defeat at home to Plymouth Arygle in adverse circumstances. How has it gone so horribly wrong since?