Orient boss draws positives

O's boss Fabio Liverani
(pic: Simon O'Connor)

O's boss Fabio Liverani (pic: Simon O'Connor) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Liverani: We have to make less mistakes

Mathieu Baudry challenges Gillingham's Luke Norris (pic: Simon O'Connor)

Mathieu Baudry challenges Gillingham's Luke Norris (pic: Simon O'Connor) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Leyton Orient boss Fabio Liverani says his side cannot afford to make basic mistakes in their battle to avoid the drop from League One.

O’s battled back from 3-1 down to earn a point against Gillingham on Bank Holiday Monday, thanks to Josh Wright’s 85th-minute strike.

But although pleased to avoid defeat and remain outside the relegation zone on goal difference, Liverani had some concerns.

He said: “Given the circumstances, for 10 minutes in the second half we were losing 3-1 so I’m very pleased with the reaction of the players.

Dean Cox celebrates after Lloyd James put Leyton Orient ahead against GIllingham from the penalty sp

Dean Cox celebrates after Lloyd James put Leyton Orient ahead against GIllingham from the penalty spot (pic: Simon O'Connor) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO


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“In the end it’s a good point, but if we want to avoid relegation soon, we have to concede much less and make less mistakes.

“It’s a bit disappointing because in the last games we conceded much less defensively. Today was hopefully just a one-off and it’s something we have to work on the next five days for the next away game.”

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Orient had conceded just two goals in their previous five matches, while collecting 10 points, but Liverani made five changes to his line-up after the 1-0 win at Coventry, with Andrea Dossena returning at left-back.

Scott Cuthbert played in a protective face mask, while Lloyd James made his first start in six months after recovering from a broken leg and put O’s ahead from the penalty spot.

Liverani added: “I thought about it, but I also considered the fact we could’ve pushed a bit more on our left side even if at the end it didn’t work out, but it was something I was considering.

“Cuthbert had a little fracture in his cheekbone at the end of the game in Coventry but he trained really hard, he really wanted to play this game and I liked his spirit so I let him play.

“I think James had a good performance. It was the first time he played 90 minutes, due to circumstances we didn’t have a replacement for him, but I think he played a good game and we’re waiting for him to get back to full fitness.”

James smashed home from the spot on the half hour to open the scoring, but Gills hit back with a Jermaine McGlashan equaliser and Cody McDonald header.

McDonald then drove in a penalty of his own to make it 3-1 just before the hour, but Darius Henderson gave the hosts hope midway through the second half and Wright, the matchwinner at Coventry, converted again to salvage a share of the spoils.

And the boss had praise for the midfielder and on-loan keeper Alex Cisak, who denied Gills a crucial fourth goal.

Liverani said: “Josh with two goals has given us four points so yes, important goals, as much as it was important the performance of our goalkeeper, so we have to thank him for a good result at the end.

“The spirit again was great. I really like the spirit of our players. Unfortunately we made some big mistakes in the defensive phase and this is something we are going to work on before the next game.”

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