Andy Edwards pleased with Leyton Orient’s spirit during defeat to Portsmouth

PUBLISHED: 18:35 14 January 2017 | UPDATED: 18:35 14 January 2017

Leyton Orient boss Andy Edwards looks on from the touchline (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient boss Andy Edwards looks on from the touchline (pic: Simon O'Connor).

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Brisbane Road boss reflects on 3-5-2 formation and Kevin Nolan taking charge of Notts County

Leyton Orient manager Andy Edwards was pleased with the spirit his team showed during today’s 2-1 defeat at high-flying League Two play-off hopefuls Portsmouth.

The O’s suffered a third consecutive loss after Conor Chaplin netted a brace for the hosts to cancel out Gavin Massey’s stunning first-half leveller.

Although Orient struggled to significantly test Pompey custodian David Forde, they showed plenty of appetite to try and get back in the game, although just lacked a touch of cutting edge in the final third.

“I thought the spirit was very good and that is one thing which we’ve been lacking and we spoke to the players about that,” said Edwards.

“They need to recognise that and continue it and on the other side we need to stop conceding cheap goals.

“It wasn’t a routine cross, it was a good delivery and header, but it was somebody in our area who was unmarked.”

Orient sprung a surprise before kick-off by playing a 3-5-2 formation before reverting back to 4-4-2 late on.

The O’s boss was disappointed with the goals they conceded at Fratton Park, but felt overall they defended strongly.

Edwards said: “We initially started with five at the back when we were defending and we wanted to have more bodies in our penalty area to deal with the threat Portsmouth would pose.

“We defended well and resolutely and they put us under a lot of pressure, but we defended our area well.

“Obviously we changed it because we were chasing the game and we wanted to stop them higher up the pitch at source.

“We knew our wide players could stop their full-backs because they were a big threat for Portsmouth and pushing on so we changed it at that point.”

Before the O’s game in the south coast kicked off, one of their most recent former managers Kevin Nolan was taking charge of his first Notts County game.

It finished goalless between the Magpies and Mansfield Town, which keeps them below Orient.

Edwards is predicting Nolan will turn things around at Meadow Lane, adding: “I expect a response at Notts County.

“Kevin will build on being hard to play against and they got a goalless draw today, so that’s a clean sheet straight away for him and I’m sure he’ll be very successful there.”

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