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Orient boss ‘angry’ previous standards were not met

PUBLISHED: 11:00 18 February 2019

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff brings the ball forward against Maidenhead United in the National League (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff brings the ball forward against Maidenhead United in the National League (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

The O’s inconsistent run of form continued on Saturday with a shock 1-0 loss at home to Maidenhead United

Leyton Orient centre back Jamie Turley wins the ball against Maidenhead United in the National League (pic: Simon O'Connor).Leyton Orient centre back Jamie Turley wins the ball against Maidenhead United in the National League (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh couldn’t hide his frustration after the one-goal defeat to Maidenhead United last weekend and admitted the compact nature of the National League table means the race for the title will go down to the wire.

Adrian Clifton scored the only goal of the game in E10 early into the second half and it handed the O’s a surprise reverse at home.

Orient slipped a place in the division to third and remain on 61 points, but saw leaders Solihull Moors, AFC Fylde and Salford City all drop points too.

“I expected us to win. I won’t hide behind it and everyone else expected us to win, but we know in football it doesn’t always go that way and we have to perform better to win these games,” Edinburgh said.

“But I have never seen it this tight. I am looking at Eastleigh on 55 points and they might feel they have a chance, so it is going to be right down to the wire throughout and even at the bottom.

“Look at Dover Athletic, they went to Salford and won and Barrow have beat Sutton United, so it is like wow!

“I am angry because as a manager of this football club and as a manager of this group of players, we haven’t reached the standards we have set ourselves, so that would be my huge disappointment.”

After a bright start, Orient struggled to create opportunities against Maidenhead, who were set up in a typically organised and disciplined structure.

Macauley Bonne flicks the ball on for Leyton Orient against Maidenhead United in the National League (pic: Simon O'Connor).Macauley Bonne flicks the ball on for Leyton Orient against Maidenhead United in the National League (pic: Simon O'Connor).

It is a familiar story for opposition visiting O’s, but in recent weeks they have found a way to win.

Saturday was a different story, although Edinburgh did try to mix things up towards the latter part of the game.

He switched to a 3-4-3 formation and introduced Jordan Maguire-Drew, Matt Harrold and Dale Gorman off the bench, but they couldn’t help Orient find the net.

“As a manager you try to make changes and they don’t always work. I thought Dale did well. He drove at them and Matty and Jordan were not as effective, but they are the gambles you take,” Edinburgh explained.

“The ideal situation is they come on and change the game, but I’ve been a player and I have been asked to come on and change a game or pick up the pace and as much as that is what we want and the ideal situation, it is not that easy.

“I can’t criticise them. We have players we hope can be game-changers. Sometimes they are and sometimes they are not, but it is not a criticism.”

A positive for Edinburgh and Orient is the fact some of their key players are close to returning in the coming weeks.

Marvin Ekpiteta was back on the bench after a month out with an ankle injury while James Dayton, Josh Coulson and Josh Koroma (all hamstring) are close to returning and may be involved away to Brackley Town in the FA Trophy on Saturday.

Edinburgh added: “James was training on Monday, Marvin was back on the bench and the two Josh’s are not too far away.

“Jordan was back on the bench, so that all comes at a very good time as we need the squad to be at its strongest and most competitive.”

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