RUSSELL SLADE believes his players are ready to put the disappointment of back-to-back League defeats behind them and register their first three point haul of the season when they take on Hartlepool United on Saturday.
Losses to Tranmere Rovers and Stevenage have left Orient pointless after two matches and Slade is desperate to avoid a repeat of last year’s bad start.
“We’ve had a good reaction on the training ground,” he said. “We’ve analysed the Stevenage game – I’m pleased with what I’ve seen in reaction to that and we have to take that into Saturday now.
“I want to see an improvement in most areas really, although I wasn’t dissatisfied with the defensive display as we reduced them to just two shots.
“That wasn’t such a priority as addressing our midfield and attacking options.
“We turned the ball over too easily when we perhaps needed another pass and we’ve looked at that.
“It’s massively important to get that first win on the board as soon as we can.
“I’m sure Hartlepool be saying similar things to ourselves – Neale [Cooper, Hartlepool boss] is striving for his system as well and looking for the fluency within his side.
“It’s always the same at the start of a season. We’re still a long way away from where we want to be.
“You need an attitude and focus to get that right and we certainly have that. We just need to put that into practice and play with a confidence, certainly on the ball.”
The O’s boss also explained his decision to narrow the pitch slightly for this season, citing the example of Stoke City doing the same for their Premier League games last term.
“We tend to only play with one out-and-out wide midfielder and I feel that having a three in the middle of the park helps our play, so that had an impact in the decision to bring the sidelines in a little bit.
“And added to that we now have a new weapon in Nathan Clarke’s long throw, which we didn’t have before.
“The changes let us get the ball in the box a little more, and with Nathan’s throw being on a par with Rory Delap’s – certainly at this level – that will be something we utilise this season.”