Building a 'winning mentality' says O's assistant Joe Gallen
- Credit: PA
Leyton Orient assistant manager Joe Gallen says win was important to continue building a ‘winning mentality’ throughout the club.
Youngster Antony Papadopoulos netted on his Orient debut to seal a narrow 1-0 victory over Southampton under-21s in the Papa John's Trophy.
It was a match with limited chances for both sides until the 18-year-old struck from the edge of the box in the 82nd minute.
“Job done, they’re always tough games when you play against Premier League under-21s or 23s as it’s a big game and they get to play against league opposition, and you can tell they’re really up for it,” Gallen said.
“I thought our boys had a really good attitude and at times played very well. We deservedly won the game, there wasn’t a lot of chances in it, but I thought in the second-half in particular we stepped on them and denied them a lot of space.
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“It did look like we were going to be the winner, but were just waiting for the goal to come. We want to have a winning mentality at the club, from our team to the reserve team games and down to the under-18s.
“It keeps the momentum going, which is good, and proves that we can get on a run first-team wise.”
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Youngsters Rhys Byrne, Antony Papadopoulos, Dan Nkrumah and Jepthe Tanga all featured in the match for the O’s.
“The goalkeeper, young Jepthe coming on, plus others. It was a night for the players that have been on the bench to play, get some minutes, and an opportunity for some of our academy players to step up and play.
“Overall, even if the result went against us, it was still a good evening in terms of blooding in some youngsters, giving them confidence, and showing them what we want and expect when you come into the first-team.”
Papadopoulos played out of position for majority of the match but managed to impress the management team.
“Very good, Pap, was the one player that played out of position. He played on the right hand side in a wing-back role but he’s a central midfield player.
“Kenny picked the team and thought Antony could do a job out there. He did very well in an unfamiliar role.
“His goal didn’t come from that position, it came from when he stepped into the midfield, which is more natural to him and it was a nice finish on the edge of the box.”
Manager Kenny Jackett was missing for the clash due to illness, Gallen saying: “Kenny was not feeling very well, which we all think what it could be, but he’s had a test Covid wise and he’s clear.”