July 26 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Orient defender reveals shoot-out pain
When a season-defining game comes down to penalties there are always going to be heroes and villains.
Unfortunately for Orient defender Mathieu Baudry, he was one of the latter as he missed the opportunity to leave his team one kick from glory at Wembley.
The Frenchman insisted he was confident as he stepped up from 12 yards, but felt he let his team-mates and O’s fans down as they lost to Rotherham in the League One play-off final.
“I was confident when I stepped up, but penalties are a bit of a lottery,” he said.
“We work on them, but I missed it. I’m devastated because I feel like I let the other players down.
“But I’m proud of the boys and what we’ve achieved this season. I’m just sad we haven’t brought the fans promotion. The supporters were brilliant as they have been all season.”
Baudry might think he has let his team-mates down, reportedly apologising to fans in the Green Man pub near Wembley for his part in their defeat.
But the Orient players - as well as O’s fans on social media - said there was nothing for him and Chris Dagnall, who also missed from the spot, to be ashamed of.
Baudry said the players are “devastated” to come so close, but miss out on the prize of promotion to the Championship.
But he added the O’s will “come back strongly” next season as they try to follow the example of Brentford and bounce back after a brutal end to the campaign.
The Bees missed out on automatic promotion from League One in 2012/13 in stoppage time in the final game of the regular season before losing to Yeovil in the play-off final.
But they returned stronger for it this season and comfortably finished second behind champions Wolves to advance to the second tier.
“We’ll work hard and go again next season,” added Baudry. “We’ve given our all, we gave our best and we will again next season.
“That’s all we can promise and I hope the fans are proud of us because the players have made the club really proud this season against the odds.
“We gave everything and we were unlucky to be on the losing side. It makes us more determined to not be on the losing side next season.”
Orient were under no illusions about the threat Rotherham would face.
The Millers are now the fourth team in a row to win promotion from League One after finishing fourth in the regular season, after only goal difference had separated the two finalists after 46 games.
Baudry said: “For a neutral it was a great game. It’s why people love football, but for us it’s really hard.
“Everyone worked so hard, but we knew Rotherham were a good team and it was going to be a tight game.
“We knew what they’re about, but it’s just a 10-minute spell where we’re not at the levels we were for the rest of the game.
“We’ve come back strongly after conceding the second goal and after (goalkeeper Jamie) Jonesey saved their penalty maybe it looked like we were going to win, but it wasn’t to be.”
Manager Russell Slade said he was proud of the players in the dressing room, according to the defender. But Baudry added: “There’s not really much you can say to the players after a defeat like that.”