Orient boss takes the positives from Carling Cup exit at Blackburn

Mooney and Cox strike to give Premier League side some anxious moments

Orient made their predictable Carling Cup exit at at Premier League side Blackburn Rovers – but boss Russell Slade took plenty of positives from the third round defeat.

The O’s, bottom of League One, remained on terms until just before half-time when Jason Roberts scored from the penalty spot.

But Slade’s side showed their spirit as they hit back in the second half and David Mooney levelled on 64 minutes.

The Premier League side responded with a double blast from Ruben Rochina and Simon Vukcevic, but Dean Cox struck four minutes from time to give the home side an anxious last few moments.

Slade hopes his team’s battling performance will breathe new life into their bid to register a first league win and climb off the foot of the table.

The O’s chief made just one change to the side beaten 3-1 at home by Oldham last Saturday, as goalkeeper Lee Butcher came back into the starting 11 in place of on-loan keeper Ben Alnwick who was suffering with a groin injury.

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“We came here in difficult circumstances; we’re still striving to get our first win in the league this season,” said Slade afterwards.

“And we’ve got eight players sidelined with injury, three of those being goalkeepers.

“We’ll certainly take the positives from it because I thought a patched-up team gave a decent display.

“We need to address our league results and tonight’s performance was much more positive.

“I do think it’s a matter of time before we turn the corner, we’re not as bad as our position in the league.

“The nucleus of the squad is still there, it’s just for one reason or another they’ve been injured or they’ve had problems.

“It has cost us dearly, but I am confident we can turn it around.”

Butcher caught the eye as he pulled off a string of excellent saves and Slade added: “The important thing was to stay in the game, which I thought we did for long periods.

“Obviously, we knew Blackburn were capable at any stage of going forward and hurting us, so even at 1-1 it was still going to be a difficult task.

“But it was nice to level at that stage and it was a good reward for us to get back into the game.

“It was a really well-taken goal. George Porter used his pace and David Mooney finished really well.

“It made a contest of it and there were one or two moments where maybe, just maybe, it could have been our night.

“Fair play to Blackburn though, they did create a good deal of chances and a fine display from Lee Butcher in goal helped us stay in the game.”