The key is remaining calm, says O’s head coach
PUBLISHED: 13:00 20 February 2019
Simon O'Connor Photography
Leyton Orient’s form since the Boxing Day loss at Dagenham & Redbridge has been below-par
The National League had a third new leader in the space of a week on Tuesday night when Wrexham took over at the top from Solihull Moors and there is no doubt now is when the pressure increases on everyone involved in the title race.
Leyton Orient boss Justin Edinburgh gave eight-placed Eastleigh a namecheck when looking at the clubs battling to reach the Football League after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Maidenhead United.
For O’s, they have gone from leading for almost three months to third spot, but there is plenty of football still to be played.
While tension is rising for those in the mix, this is a new feeling for some members in the Orient squad and even the club’s most influential players.
Edinburgh explained: “The key is remaining calm, not overthinking or overanalysing and trying to keep the players calm.
“It is a natural thing – people will get nervous and they will get anxious and as much as this is a big club, only two or three of the players in our dressing room have been here before.
“Sam Ling hasn’t it, Dan Happe? No, and the top goalscorer of the league Macauley Bonne hasn’t either. He has scored 50-odd goals, but he hasn’t been in this position, so it is about not losing focus or looking ahead.
“It is staying in the moment and the game we are in. We started well, but second half we certainly didn’t do enough to win.”
After being so consistent during the first half of the season, Orient have struggled to match those heights of late.
However, it is not all doom and gloom and Edinburgh remains confident he can pick the group up and get them back on track.
“There will be disappointment and rightly so and everyone is entitled to feel that way,” Edinburgh said, after last weekend’s defeat.
“We as a group go away extremely disappointed and I know the fans will and they are entitled to feel that way, but for me I have to quickly pick the group up.
“We need to reflect on it and understand it and try to not become too anxious here at home and keep doing what we have been doing for the majority of the season.”
O’s are in a fantastic position and with injured players soon to return, it will give them a much-needed lift and now is not the time for anyone to panic.
A reason behind Orient’s success has been the competition for places created all over the squad.
Recently this has been lost with injuries affecting every position, but with everyone in the group almost fit and raring to go again, it should push Edinburgh’s team on to find a second wind.