Hessenthaler devastated for Orient fans

PUBLISHED: 17:53 23 April 2016 | UPDATED: 17:53 23 April 2016

Leyton Orient caretaker Andy Hessenthaler (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient caretaker Andy Hessenthaler (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

Caretaker at Brisbane Road reflects on defeat to AFC Wimbledon and a disappointing season

Leyton Orient caretaker Andy Hessenthaler is devastated for the fans that the club haven’t reached the League Two play-offs this season.

The 50-year-old former Gillingham boss was talking after O’s suffered a 1-0 defeat at rivals AFC Wimbledon and dropped down to 14th as a result.

It means they can’t finish in the top seven and they will a League Two team again next season – a huge disappointment for everyone associated with the club.

Lyle Taylor’s first half strike gave the Dons all three points and means the east Londoners have nothing to play for in their final two matches this season.

“I don’t know where it’s gone wrong. A lot of things have happened in the last few weeks, we’ve lost a manager and haven’t got one now,” said Hessenthaler.

“We have an interim so that hasn’t helped the situation. We are not making excuses because we’ve played 44 games and we’re in the bottom half of the table – that’s not good enough.

“It is very frustrating and not acceptable from all of us. We are all a big family in terms of the group like the coaching staff and players and we haven’t produced.

“I’m not going to hide behind anything, I’m actually devastated about it for the fans because they deserve more. We should have, at a minimum, been in the play-offs.”

The O’s interim manager confirmed he picked the team for the match in south London alongside his coaching staff and president Francesco Becchetti.

But the defeat at Cherry Red Records Stadium means it is five losses out of their last seven since beating Morecambe 1-0 on March 19.

Hessenthaler added: “It is difficult to answer why things were so flat over Easter. We lost our way and our confidence, but again it is not through a lack of effort, but a lack of quality.

“The committee was involved in the team selection. The final say was all of us, the coaching staff and the owner so we did it together.”

Orient’s cause wasn’t helped by losing top goalscorer Jay Simpson to injury while Nigel Atangana wasn’t fit enough to feature this afternoon.

Jobi McAnuff has missed out since York City, on April 2, with a calf problem and Hessenthaler conceded that’s not helped their cause.

He added: “Jay had a bad back, he got a back spasm after the midweek game and struggled to get over it. He should be ok for next week, but there was no chance today.

“We lost Atangana to a groin problem and the list goes on with Jobi injured. We are missing quite a lot of top quality players, but should have done better today.”

The play-offs are no longer achievable and Hessenthaler admitted a conversation may occur during next week about plans for next season.

“No there is no plans for next season. It is odd we haven’t discussed it, but we wouldn’t talk about it,” said O’s caretaker.

“We may well now because the play-offs are over, there might be a conversation now over the next few days, but we weren’t going to before today.”

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