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Leyton Orient cannot use injury and disciplinary problems as excuse says consistent left-back Callum Kennedy

PUBLISHED: 11:00 13 October 2016

Leyton Orient's Robbie Weir is sent off in the first minute of their match against Plymouth (pic: Simon O'Connor)

Leyton Orient's Robbie Weir is sent off in the first minute of their match against Plymouth (pic: Simon O'Connor)

Simon O'Connor Photography

Ex-AFC Wimbledon defender, who helped Dons earn promotion from League Two last season, calls on O's squad to get back on track

Leyton Orient full-back Callum Kennedy says they must not use the squad’s injury and disciplinary problems as an excuse for their recent form.

The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes on Saturday as O’s lost 1-0 to Portsmouth in League Two at Brisbane Road.

Liam Kelly was stretchered off with just five minutes played after pulling his hamstring and joins fellow central midfielders Nigel Atangana and Robbie Weir on the sidelines along with Harry Cornick.

Kennedy said: “Losing Liam is a huge blow because just knowing he is out on the pitch helps. He is vice-captain, but he was captain on Saturday because Robbie was still suspended and it is a blow and that is the way it seems to go.

“When one thing goes wrong, a few things tend to and they say when it rains, it pours! Getting injuries to a few key players and suspensions is not ideal, but again it is one of those things. It can happen to anyone and any team so we have to overlook and overcome this and keep moving forward.”

There is no current timescale on when Kelly might return, although it is expected he will definitely miss this weekend’s clash with Luton Town at Brisbane Road.

Weir will again watch from the sidelines and Orient will be hoping Nigel Atangana can return after struggling with a groin/hip flexor injury in recent weeks.

Alberto Cavasin was forced to play right-backs Alan Dunne and Jens Janse in the centre of midfield on Saturday, with winger Gavin Massey asked to do that job before.

Kennedy hopes when Kelly does get back to full fitness, the O’s vice-captain can link up with a more confident team.

He said: “I’m sure ‘Kels’ will work hard to get back and he’s a model professional so he’ll be back before you know it.

“Hopefully at that point we will be high-flying and doing well so he can come into a team full of confidence and winning games.”

Orient’s squad, despite having a number of talented players, is without doubt lacking belief after a poor run of results.

The east Londoners haven’t won any game of football since September 3 when they beat Morecambe 2-1 – picking up two league points out of a possible 18 following that victory.

It is a staggering run of form and has seen them drop to 20th in the table and dangerously close to the relegation zone.

With Luton up next, things don’t get any easier for O’s, although their left-back is positive they can make this season a memorable one.

“For whatever reason every game in this league is tough. If you play one of the teams who are up there you know there is going to be some quality in their side,” said Kennedy.

“If it is one of the teams down the bottom you are facing you know they are going to be hard to play against for their own reason and it is always a hard match.

“In this division and most of the Football League it is just about consistency and it’s a slog because it’s a long season.

“We are not having a great spell at the moment, but anything is possible and we have to keep going, keep working hard and stick together and we’ll be fine.”

After starting the season out of the starting XI, Kennedy has worked hard to get back in and is arguably one of Orient’s most consistent performers now.

If the rest of the O’s squad can find a good level of consistency too they will move up the table in no time, but they must start doing that soon.

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