Leyton Orient marking zonally now reveals boss Alberto Cavasin

Alberto Cavasin looks on from the touchline (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Alberto Cavasin looks on from the touchline (pic: Simon O'Connor). - Credit: Archant

Switch from man marking to zonal failed to stop Hartlepool United scoring from a corner on Saturday

Leyton Orient manager Alberto Cavasin confirmed the players are now marking zonally from set pieces on Saturday.

After the O’s 1-0 defeat to Portsmouth on October 8 following another conceded goal from a corner, the Italian admitted the east Londoners must either improve their man marking or would switch to zonal marking.

Last weekend it was evident the decision had been made, but Hartlepool United still opened the scoring from a corner after Lewis Hawkins headed down for Josh Laurent to volley home.

“The man in the middle of the box was free but this is part of the past. We are doing a zonal system of defence,” said Cavasin.


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While zonal marking can obviously work, it didn’t for Laurent’s goal on Saturday at Victoria Park.

Hawkins was picked out in space at the back post and the goalscorer was unmarked a few yards out.

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Even though Orient have struggled to defend corners this season, it is hard to imagine Laurent scoring on Saturday if O’s had been man marking.

Nevertheless Cavasin is adamant zonal marking is the way to go and has analysed why it will work.

He added: “We made the decision last week to switch to zonal marking having seen them in training.

“I think these players were born naturally to play this system. We have a physical structure above the average of the league and even though we conceded a goal on Saturday, I think this system of defence is a good system.”

It is no secret zonal marking is heavily used in Italy and Fabio Liverani deployed the same tactic when he was in charge of O’s.

Orient failed to adapt to zonal marking under Liverani, but this is virtually a completely different group of players.

The hope will be that they can adjust to a new way of defending set pieces and it can halt the awful record they have of conceding from corners and free kicks.

Hartlepool showed on Saturday how you can get joy against zonal marking, though, and you would bet they won’t be the last team to do so against O’s this season.

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