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Slade rails on booing fans and ‘keyboard wizards’ as Orient automatic promotion hopes dented

11:28 26 March 2014

Dean Cox celebrates with goalscorer Scott Cuthbert but Orient could not see out the victory. Pic by Simon O

Dean Cox celebrates with goalscorer Scott Cuthbert but Orient could not see out the victory. Pic by Simon O'Connor

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You could hear a pin drop inside Brisbane Road when Oldham’s Korey Smith’s brilliant last-minute volley found the net – and it might have just been the sound of Orient’s automatic promotion hopes extinguishing.

A frustrated and irate Russell Slade confronted the media after the game on Tuesday, admitting there were no positives to take out of the 1-1 draw, while castigating the fans who booed the team off and ‘keyboard wizards’ who have accused the boss and the team of ‘giving up.’

“I’m devastated. There are no positives,” Slade said.

“Our crowd is so sad, they just don’t get behind the team. I find it so disappointing.

“And there are ‘keyboard wizards’ criticising me and saying we’ve given up, it’s a joke.”

Scott Cuthbert’s header in the dying seconds of the first half looked to have won it.

The hosts missed a number of chances to make the scoreline more comfortable with Kevin Lisbie and Moses Odubajo both failing to hit the target, before Cuthbert brought a brilliant save out of former O’s stopper Paul Rachubka.

The Latics did not look like a side with relegation worries, though, and with more precise finishing could have claimed victory themselves.

Former Orient striker Charlie MacDonald fluffed his lines with two excellent chances, while Eldin Jakupovic saved from Jonson Clarke-Harris, David Worrall and Gary Harkins.

But there was a sting in the tail as Jakupovic punched a cross clear only for Smith to fire the loose ball into the net from fully 30 yards.

Russell Slade said: “We were so close. The players are devastated and it will be difficult to lift them for Bradford on Saturday. But they’re a good group, we’ll crack on and be ready.”

Orient missed a great opportunity to close the gap on London rivals Brentford, second in League One but on the end of a hammering at Rotherham, to a single point. But the Bees now hold a three-point advantage with two games in hand.

Slade’s men, on the other hand, are desperately struggling for momentum with one win in five games – but he has not given up yet.

He said: “Where we are at the moment is an astonishing achievement, but we want more, we’re fighting for more.”

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