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REACTION: Head Coach Steve Davis following last night's 2-1 defeat at Tranmere Rovers

5 October 2017

Head Coach Steve Davis admitted he was frustrated by the O’s not being able to hold onto their first half lead for a longer period in the 2-1 defeat at Tranmere Rovers on Wednesday night.

Matt Harrold swept home the opener on the 22nd minute only for the hosts to cancel out the strike four minutes later through Andy Cook, and despite going into the break level it was Tranmere who clinched all three points with James Norwood’s 71st minute header.

“We are obviously disappointed with the outcome in the end as I felt we might have been able to hold on for the draw and deserved more from the game,” Davis told leytonorient.com.

“It was nice to see us take the lead through Matt given how we have fallen behind in previous games, but it was frustrating that we weren’t able to hold onto that for a longer period. We let them back in the game after we scored too quickly, and needed to get a little bit more of a control on the game.

“I was also disappointed with the decision for the second goal in terms of the throw-in as it was our ball, but then the double ricochet fell perfectly into the path of the striker at the far post which sums up our luck at the moment in that it just isn’t going for us.”

Having arrived at Prenton Park on a run of five games without a win, Davis admitted the side remained confident ahead of the clash live on BT Sport, though felt the play was too direct for large periods.

“We went into the game very confident knowing that Tranmere had both scored and conceded nine goals. We knew it was going to be hard to score but we thought we could keep them out with the way we defended.

“There was a lot of longer passes that I hadn’t seen before, maybe because Matt was playing in attack and gave us more of a focal point rather than trying to play other types of passes that were on,” he explained.

“In the end, it became a little bit too one dimensional and we haven’t really done that much this season, it was more typical of the league in many respects but I’m not sure we have got the players that can play that long ball, battling game. We fought hard and could have played more football than we did.

“The conditions could have played a part in that, but I want the players to play even in those situations and be brave in continuing to do the things that we have been doing before in training. We knew it was going to be tough and we hoped that we could have changed our fortunes from previous games, but like I said previously before the fixture I believe we could have won any of those four games we lost just as much as we have come out on the losing side. We had dominated many of those but made errors, and again last night we saw one or two signs of that again.”

After going into the break level, the O’s were dealt a second half blow when defender Jake Caprice limped off with a hamstring injury and Davis revealed the summer recruit is unlikely to feature at Barrow this weekend.

“We have suffered quite a few injuries as of late and Jake had a slight problem with his hamstring which forced him off last night. That is the fifth or sixth hamstring problem we have had in the previous four weeks, and although I can’t pinpoint why it looks unlikely that Jake will be fit for Saturday.

“Going into the game, we knew that three out of the back four are still getting to know each other a little bit more as the relationship between them is very new having only played one game together previously. When Jake came off we had a whole new defence with Alex dropping into right back, before going to five at the back in the hope of pushing the wing backs that little bit higher to create some attacks from out wide but it wasn’t quite to be.”

The O’s Head Coach then concluded by discussing the need to find the best approach as the team look to get back to winning ways at the earliest opportunity.

“The 3-4-1-2 was to keep the two strikers and have Boco nice and close just behind them as support. They kept five at the back so we needed the wing backs to push higher up but although it was a system we haven’t used much we had to try a different way to get back into the game,” added Davis.

“Sometimes finding a different way gives the players another perspective and we are looking to find the formula which will get us out of the situation we find ourselves in with regard to the results.

“Whilst the performances have been good, we haven’t had the results to match that and inevitably in the end the result becomes that much more important. It is about finding that system which will suit the players we have got fit at the moment but also get us the points we need.”


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