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Leyton Orient have improved defensively under Andy Edwards says Tom Parkes

PUBLISHED: 14:00 21 December 2016

Leyton Orient defender Tom Parkes battles with Wycombe Wanderers rival Aaron Pierre at a corner (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient defender Tom Parkes battles with Wycombe Wanderers rival Aaron Pierre at a corner (pic: Simon O'Connor).

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Ex-Bristol Rovers captain discusses impact of third boss of the campaign at Brisbane Road

Tom Parkes believes Leyton Orient manager Andy Edwards is having a positive impact on the squad and has given them confidence in defence.

Although the O’s lost 1-0 to in-form Wycombe Wanderers last weekend, they produced another solid display at the back.

Orient have conceded 39 goals in 26 games this season in all competitions and under previous boss Alberto Cavasin shipped 17 in 10 matches, but look more assured now.

“Andy has come in and done well with us. He’s been a big positive in terms of how we defend,” said the former Bristol Rovers captain.

“We have been giving away sloppy goals this season and we’ve been working on stopping that.

“We’ve been working on attacking as well, but more recently it’s been defensive. We lost on Saturday, yet if you look at the back four, we are 
looking tighter and stronger now.”

It was clear from the moment that Edwards was appointed that he wanted to build from the back first and it is a sensible ploy.

Set-pieces have been a big problem for Orient all season, and especially during Cavasin’s reign, yet Wycombe rarely posed a threat from corners or free kicks on Saturday.

Parkes added: “I’m sure somebody said a couple of weeks ago to me it is 13 goals we’ve let in from set-pieces.

“To go two without conceding from a set-piece is a leverage for us and hopefully we can build on that.”

With Edwards seemingly having Orient looking stronger in defence, his next big task is to get them to start clicking up front.

The O’s looked good in the first 45 minutes at Wycombe and nearly took the lead on a couple of occasions, but struggled after the break.

Edwards’ team failed to fashion a chance of significance during the second half and his lack of options on the bench was clear to see.

With Ollie Palmer out with a dead leg and Michael Collins suffering an injury prior to the match, the Orient boss couldn’t turn the tide of the game with his substitutions.

Sandro Semedo failed to make an impact and Sam Dalby looked classy during his eight-minute cameo, yet it wasn’t enough to put Wycombe under serious pressure.

Injuries to Liam Kelly and Harry Cornick have not helped while Ulrich Nnomo doesn’t appear to have the quality required either.

You would imagine a speedy, talented winger and perhaps a central midfielder would be high on Orient’s list of priorities for the January transfer window, but it is not all bad at Brisbane Road.

The under-18s claimed the Youth Alliance South East Division title on Saturday following a 2-1 victory at Northampton Town.

Ruel Sotiriou and Amin Benyoucef were on target to ensure Orient claimed the silverware with four matches to spare in the league.

And Richard Thomas and Omer Riza’s team managed Saturday’s win without quite a few key players with 17-year-olds Myles Judd and Sam Dalby in action for the first-team.

“The way the under-17s have gone about things this season is a real credit to the club,” said Parkes.

“Myles has been fantastic since he came in and Dalby was involved on Saturday and you could see the class he has got.”

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