Nicky Hunt offers no excuses after Exeter City thrash Leyton Orient
PUBLISHED: 10:30 04 January 2017
Simon O'Connor Photography
Former Bolton Wanderers defender admits O's don't want to be looking behind them, but will be for a while
Leyton Orient defender Nicky Hunt hopes Monday’s 4-0 defeat at Exeter City will not be a big setback in the grand scheme of things this season.
The O’s have improved since Andy Edwards was appointed manager on November 23 when they sat above the bottom two only on goal difference.
But they were thrashed by Exeter in their first match of 2017 to kick off the year with a hugely disappointing showing at St James Park.
“Losing a game is never good. As far as a setback – we will try to not let this affect us and you can only look ahead to the next fixture now,” said Hunt.
“We’ll review it this week and hopefully bounce back again at home on Saturday against Barnet.”
Orient were second best to Exeter for most of the League Two match and fell behind with four minutes played when David Wheeler flicked past Alex Cisak after Hunt and Tom Parkes had switched off.
Myles Judd lost Ryan Harley for the Grecians’ second in the 50th minute, before the impressive Ollie Watkins was brought down inside the penalty area by Parkes a quarter of an hour later.
Harley fired the spot-kick past Cisak and a sloppy pass by Nigel Atangana saw Robbie Simpson play in Liam McAlinden, whose scuffed shot beat Orient’s goalkeeper eight minutes from time.
Each goal could have been avoided and Hunt felt everyone had to take a share of the blame, adding: “We were poor all over the field and as a defensive unit from one to 11.
“It wasn’t just the back four – we weren’t the best – but Exeter had a game-plan and we didn’t adjust to it and they’ve won 4-0.”
Orient let their standards drop to below what is expected from boss Edwards, yet they didn’t make any excuses after the match.
There were plenty of factors which could be highlighted like the fact they had to make the long trip to Exeter just two days after facing Cambridge United at Brisbane Road.
Edwards was also without three players from the New Year’s Eve clash in Teddy Mezague, Sandro Semedo and Sam Dalby and had to play full-back Callum Kennedy higher up the pitch at left midfield.
Hunt, 33, said: “At this level you have to be fit and we are a fit group, so there are no excuses for one team working harder than the other.
“We pride ourselves on our fitness and I can assure everyone that the performance in the second half will never happen again.”
The good news for Orient after the match was results elsewhere largely went their way and so they remain in 20th place and four points above the relegation spots.
It is a nice cushion to have, yet Hunt said: “We are a team that doesn’t want to be looking behind us, but at the minute we find ourselves doing that.
“To be honest I think we will continue to do that for a couple of weeks. I’m a realist and know we are not going to shoot up the league after one game, so we have a lot of hard work to do and we’ll do that.”