O’s boss pleased squad are ‘learning’ to win ugly

Morecambe's Alan Goodall shows his frustration after they concede an own goal against Leyton Orient

Morecambe's Alan Goodall shows his frustration after they concede an own goal against Leyton Orient (pic: Simon O'Connor). - Credit: Archant

33-year-old admits it is crucial to pick up points when they’re not on top form

Even though Leyton Orient player-manager Kevin Nolan wants to see his team play an attractive brand of football, he is delighted they are learning to win ugly.

The O’s registered back-to-back 1-0 victories last weekend as they beat Morecambe after winning at Oxford United the Saturday before.

Since the former West Ham United captain has taken over, the Brisbane Road outfit have picked up 22 points from a possible 33.

Five of their seven wins have been by a one-goal margin and Nolan believes it is what the best clubs do at all levels.

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He said: “If you want to be a successful side, you have to win when you’re not playing well – you can’t play well every week and that is what people have to realise.

“Manchester United, Barcelona, Arsenal and Chelsea, when they were winning titles, couldn’t play well all time.

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“What they do, when they are not playing well, is they don’t concede goals and make sure they take that chance to score and win ugly.

“You have that at the top of the game and I’ve been trying to tell the lads that it happens at this level too. Sometimes people get carried away with how some teams play fantastic football and do the right things.

“Hopefully we are getting to a point now where we believe in what we’re doing and I think if we can continue to do that then we can be a real, strong contender going into the end of the season.”

Orient were impressive at Oxford on Saturday week and could have won by more than just the one-goal at the Kassam Stadium.

Despite not being as good last weekend, they could have done the same, but found Morecambe substitute goalkeeper Kieron O’Hara in top form.

Nolan added: “I said to the lads we played well last week and I was delighted with the performance away to Oxford.

“We won 1-0 and it could have been more. You come to this week and we didn’t play so well and that’s when you’ve got to pick up points and this is what we’ve done.”

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