Callum Kennedy knows Leyton Orient must quickly change mindset

Leyton Orient defender Callum Kennedy runs past a Luton Town opponent (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient defender Callum Kennedy runs past a Luton Town opponent (pic: Simon O'Connor). - Credit: Archant

East Londoners face pivatol clash with fellow League Two strugglers Colchester United this weekend

Sunday was another bad chapter in Leyton Orient’s horror 2016/17 campaign and the worrying thing is it’s hard to see how and when it is going to get better.

A decent run in the FA Cup was always unlikely when O’s were drawn away to Sheffield United, but not even the biggest pessimist would have predicted a 6-0 defeat.

Orient are 23rd in the League Two table, out of the FA Cup and facing a massive match this weekend away to local rivals Colchester United.

Callum Kennedy fronted up after Sunday’s dismal showing and knows a lot needs to change if they are to turn around their season, but one of the main issues is how O’s defend from set-pieces.


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“If we’re not scoring from our set-pieces why should anyone score against us? Me included, I hold my hands up, I’ve made mistakes and played a part in goals conceded and it is not good enough,” said the former AFC Wimbledon defender.

“It needs to change because set-pieces play a huge factor in where you are at the end of the season. If we don’t address that then things are not going to get better.”

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Orient conceding sloppy goals from free kicks and corners is nothing new and it has been happening ever since they dropped down to League Two.

Alberto Cavasin decided to change to zonal marking after his arrival and it is safe to say it hasn’t worked.

But Kennedy insists the mindset of the O’s players has to be different, he added: “Even when we weren’t using zonal marking, we were conceding from set-pieces.

“It has been highlighted on Sunday even more because four of the goals have come from set-pieces.

“Of course everyone will turn and blame zonal marking, but I keep talking about the mentality and from a set-piece, it doesn’t matter if you are zonal or man-marking, there has to be an idea of – the opposition can’t score from this.”

The league was always the priority for Orient and on Saturday they face a huge fixture with Colchester.

Harry Chapman’s hat-trick plus goals from Chris Basham, Stefan Scougall and Kieron Freeman on Sunday have contributed towards a large number of fans becoming disillusioned with the squad and a victory or a positive result is required this weekend to give everyone a boost.

After Saturday, five of Orient’s next seven games in League Two are at Brisbane Road which would normally be a huge positive.

But O’s have struggled enormously at home this season losing eight times in all competitions at their east London stadium.

If they can’t halt that slump over the next two months you fear for the future of the second oldest league club in London.

When Orient’s squad was assembled in the summer, nobody would have predicted they would be in the relegation zone after playing 15 league games.

Kennedy added: “If you look at our side. If I went through it on paper you can’t tell me that team should be where it is and be in the problems we’re in.

“I know that and all the lads know that, but mindset is a big thing and the only way I know how to change that is hard work.”

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