Russell Slade was pleased with his side’s reaction to a change of shape at Sheffield United this afternoon, but was left ruing the individual error which cost Orient two points.
The draw means that the O’s slip to fourth in the League One standings, further denting any lingering hopes of automatic promotion.
Another win for Brentford puts the Bees seven points ahead of Orient with six to play, with Rotherham United - 4-3 winners at Gillingham – leapfrogging the O’s into third place.
Dean Cox scored his 13th of the season to put Orient ahead just before the break at Bramall Lane, but the Blades had the better of the second half and levelled in the 63rd minute when Jamie Murphy capitalised on Mathieu Baudry’s slip to round Jamie Jones and score.
Speaking afterwards, Slade bemoaned the mistake which denied Orient a first win in five: “Yes I was [disappointed with the manner of the equaliser]. We need to keep the belief and keep the focus and perhaps we lapsed a little bit of focus there [and] concentration. We should have won the ball further up the field and we didn’t."
“It’s an individual mistake that’s cost us dearly really. We seem to be getting punished for those little mistakes we make from time to time at this moment in time.
“We helped them on the way. We had good control and then it’s an error that we’ve been punished by and obviously the momentum changes a little bit and gets them back on course and back on track and they’re at home and trying to get a victory.”
Top scorer David Mooney was dropped to the bench as Slade altered his starting formation to a 4-5-1, with wingers Moses Odubajo and Cox pushed on in support of lone forward Kevin Lisbie, a decision made to nullify the threat of United’s own midfield five.
“We changed it because they’re very strong Sheffield across the midfield,” explained Slade.
“We watched them on Tuesday [against Brentford] and I think probably the timing of trying something a little bit different as well, was probably right. We took to it really well, I was really pleased with the first hour and particularly the first half; I thought we played some excellent football.”