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Thursday, October 24, 2013
Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade sweating over fitness of star striker
Top scorer Kevin Lisbie is facing a race against time to be fit for Saturday’s Brisbane Road showdown with Rotherham United.
The 35-year-old marksman, who has 11 goals to his name already this season, missed Tuesday night’s clash with Coventry City at Sixfields Stadium which saw the table-toppers crash to their first league defeat of the campaign.
And manager Russell Slade thinks it will be touch and go as to whether he makes it back in time for Saturday.
“If you saw the game on Saturday, you would see that he has got a whack,” explained the boss following Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat.
“He was a bit fortunate because if he had planted his foot, he may have been out for the season.
“He has got some bone bruising which is causing him a problem and stopping him from running and at best, he must be 50/50 for Saturday.
“But life goes on and what ever way we go with, we still have to be strong enough to get over the line.”
The turning point of Tuesday night’s game was the missed penalty by David Mooney when the score was still only 1-0.
“I think it is fine lines sometimes,” said the manager. “I’m not saying we deserved to win the game, because I don’t think we did, but if we had scored the penalty it would have changed the game.
“Even though we weren’t having a great night, if we score that goal and having already beaten Coventry twice this season, doubts would have crept into their minds and mentally they may have thought they were stuggling to beat us.
“But then they got another goal and that was important for them.”
So it proved. Carl Baker’s early goal had rocked the O’s, but they won a penalty out of the blue and had that gone in, it would have been a very different game.
It didn’t and the Sky Blues added further strikes from Franck Moussa and Leon Clarke before a late consolation from French striker Yohann Lasimant.
“What I was really pleased about was the attitude,” said Slade. “Even at 2-0 and 3-0 it was excellent.
“If we had got one five minutes earlier then who knows? It was great that Yohann has got himself off the mark, that will give him a big boost.”
Tuesday’s defeat brings to an end the O’s remarkable run which has seen them unbeaten in 12 games from the start of the season. Slade is certainly remaining positive as they look to bounce back against ninth-placed Rotherham at Brisbane Road on Saturday.
“It would have been very difficult to go through the season without losing a game, so it had to happen eventually,” said the manager.
“It is important to remain positive. The players have got character, they galvanise each other and Saturday is a great opportunity at home to go and get a good result against another decent side.
“We are still top and there is nearly a third of the season gone. It will be fantastic to get a result on our own ground in front of our fans.
“Last time there were over 6,000 there and they were fantastic, as they were today.”