Leyton Orient captain Clarke insists side are focused on Gillingham and will not dwell on Crawley Town defeat

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Nathan Clarke is refusing to dwell on their surprise defeat: Simon O'Connor Nathan Clarke is refusing to dwell on their surprise defeat: Simon O'Connor

Nathan Clarke insisted the O’s would not dwell on their setback after defeat in their final home game of the year.

Leyton Orient were well below par on Saturday in their 3-2 loss against Crawley Town but with the side in the middle of a hectic festive fixture list, their skipper was quick to draw a line under the result.

Clarke, whose side return to action on Boxing Day at Gillingham, said: “You’ve got to put it down as a blip. We can’t keep dwelling on what’s happened. We’ve lost a game but there are plenty more matches to go.

"We’re still top of the league and we’ve got to draw confidence from that. We’ve lost a game but with the amount of matches coming thick and fast, we’ve got to be ready for the next one.

"We'll be expecting a reaction ourselves. It will be pushing and driving us on in training to put things right and the we've got to be well prepared for the Gillingham game and not dwell on this too much."

The centre-back added: “Of course it’s a concern. We’re disappointed and are frustrated. When you’re at the top of the table everyone wants to come and do a job on you. We’ve lost a game but we know how important it is to go and win the next one and put on a good show getting the three points.”

Clarke admitted losing at home, where the O’s have established an excellent record, was a bitter blow.

He said: “We’re obviously pretty disappointed. We feel as if we’ve got a good record at home and to let that one slip is really disappointing. We wanted to push on after the good result at Bradford and were coming into the game full of confidence. We were missing one or two players but it gave chances for others to step in and prove a point.

“Obviously the opposition played well. They came here and did a good job on us and made it hard for us to play. We never really got to grips with that. We’re a much better team than what we produced in the first half.”

Orient’s supporters have been entertained by their side’s exceptional first half of the season. The O’s lead the League 1 table at Christmas despite just not winning their last four league games and Clarke has called on their fans to keep the faith and stick with the team.

He said: “We always knew it was going to be a tough period over Christmas with the amount of games in such a short period and we need the fans with us. They’ve been fantastic this season and the gates have been getting higher and higher. We’ve been doing so well on the pitch and we’ve drawn confidence from the support of the fans home and away.”


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