Orient boss admits confidence is low after defeat at the Hive

Leyton Orient player-manager Kevin Nolan talks tactics at Notts County with Lee Harrison (right) and

Leyton Orient player-manager Kevin Nolan talks tactics at Notts County with Lee Harrison (right) and Andy Hessenthaler (pic: Simon O'Connor). - Credit: Archant

Former West Ham United captain says fans can say whatever they want at him after a 3-0 loss

Leyton Orient player-manager Kevin Nolan admits his confidence has been knocked after three defeats from their last four League Two matches.

The O’s went down 3-0 at Barnet today, dropping to 11th as a result, after two John Akinde goals sandwiched Sam Togwell’s deflected strike.

Togwell’s second, in the 50th minute, was two minutes after Lloyd James had a penalty saved. It was the third penalty O’s have missed in less than a month after failing to convert spot-kicks against York City and Morecambe.

When Nolan left the field in the 63rd minute, to be replaced by Josh Koroma, the away fans cheered the decision before booing the former West Ham United captain off the pitch when he applauded them.

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He said: “When you are losing games and you’re involved as a player, you feel it and can see it within your players so you try to help them as well as do something yourself so that’s affecting me.

“When you’ve lost three out of four that is going to knock you as a manager, but I believe in what I’m doing here. I feel I have everything under control in my head and when we were winning those games, my emotions then was that people can’t get carried with it.

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“I didn’t and I can’t now. I can’t get too low as I have 20 to 25 players I see every morning so I’ve got to get them playing to their ability and if I can do that we can get back to winning ways.

“Listen I’m a confident lad, I believe in what I do and people are going to have their opinions. I don’t always agree if people say everything is fine when we’re winning and they say ‘it was a great game’ and sometimes I look at them and think it wasn’t.

“But people can say whatever they want when we lose 3-0. I can take it on the chin, I’m a big enough lad and certainly I deserve a lot of the stick today because my team hasn’t performed.”

Some Orient fans left after Akinde’s second in the 58th minute and Nolan says he completely understand their emotions following today’s reverse.

He hopes and believes, though, that he will become a better manager because of the loss, adding: “I can understand their frustration and I can guarantee I’m just as frustrated as them, but we stick together because if we do that we’ll get the results.

“I firmly believe in what I’m doing. There will be ups and downs along the way, a few downs, but that only makes you stronger and better. That’s what I’m hoping - that I can be better because of this.”

Something that would help is if the east Londoners could start converting their penalties – they’ve missed five already this season and all of those have occurred in 2016.

Jay Simpson, Jobi McAnuff and James have now all failed from the spot and Nolan admits the last three have been during key periods. It was also revealed the Orient squad had a lengthy discussion in the changing room after the defeat.

He added: “They’ve been at crucial times of the game too, that’s the main thing I think because when we have missed penalties and certainly the last three I’ve had, they’ve been at really crucial times and parts of the match.

“Once that happens it is the ‘here we go again mentality’ that seeps through and a minute later you’re two down. You put the penalty away and your 1-1, tails up and next thing you’re putting a bit of pressure on them and thinking let’s go win it.

“It is simple not good enough, we know that, we’ve had a long chat between us all. It is only us that can get us out of this sticky patch we find ourselves in.”

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