O's defender lauds tactical changes made by Hendon against Oxford
PUBLISHED: 15:30 19 October 2015
Simon O'Connor Photography
Former Dover Athletic defender discusses 2-2 draw with the Yellows, Ollie Palmer and remaining calm
Leyton Orient defender Connor Essam praised boss Ian Hendon after his changes at half time helped inspire their comeback against Oxford United in League Two.
The Yellows were in complete control at the break after goals from Kemar Roofe and John Lundstram put them two nil up at Brisbane Road.
But Jack Payne and Ollie Palmer were introduced at the interval and played a part in Jay Simpson reducing the arrears.
Another substitute Scott Kashket then equalised in the first minute of stoppage time to earn the O’s a share of the spoils.
Essam said: “We said we haven’t got to score inside the first five minutes of the second half, we can score with 40 minutes played and it still leaves us five to get another.
“The sending off of Jordan Graham made them sit off a little bit more and we had so much time at the back, which is sometimes difficult.
“Oxford had two banks of four and it is difficult to break down, but we had to mix our game up and luckily we can do that with Ollie on the bench.
“It worked for us second half and all credit to the gaffer for his changes because we can all see they worked.”
Although Orient were poor during the first period, Essam revealed they were always confident they could get something from the game.
He didn’t believe the red card to Graham had a great deal to do with their comeback, which moves them up to fifth in the table.
“We said at half time that two nil is a dangerous scoreline and we always believed if we were to get the next goal that we would go on and get two or three,” said Essam.
“Obviously it worked that way in the end and we were close to getting the third, we had a few chances, but we have got to take a point. After our first half performance and the position we were in, it is a decent point.
“I don’t think them going down to 10 men had a lot to do with our comeback to be honest, I think we were on top anyway and we showed at Crawley Town last week you can dominate with 10 men.
“When the opposition has somebody sent off it doesn’t always help, but we dominated the second half before the red card.”