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Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade admits the O's not at their best against Walsall after 1-1 draw
Russell Slade admits his Leyton Orient team didn’t show quite the same energy against Walsall as they have in recent matches but still believes the O’s deserved to win the game.
Orient played against ten men for the majority of the match after Walsall’s Andy Butler was sent off in the first half.
David Mooney put the O’s ahead before the break but Craig Westcarr grabbed an unexpected equaliser in the second half before Roman Vincelot was also shown red late on.
The 1-1 draw means Orient’s winning run in League One stops at eight but Slade’s team are still top of the table.
“We’re disappointed but whatever the outcome I know this – we're three points at the top of the table so we have to take that,” Slade said.
“I think we’ll get over that one, we can’t win them all but we came mighty close to making it nine.
“You have to say their keeper was the best player on the pitch – he’s made two terrific saves and we’ve hit the woodwork and unfortunately they scored from the only opportunity they had in the afternoon.
“But that’s football, sometimes you have to take it on the chin.”
Orient were ahead before the break and in control of the match early in the second period but failed to turn their possession into clear-cut chances.
Slade said his team lacked a bit of impetus and suggested they may have been tired from Monday night’s exploits away at Brentford.
He said: “Mooney finished well and that got us on track straight away so that was really pleasing but we couldn’t quite back it up and for all the possession we had, we didn’t quite move the ball quick enough at times.
“Whether Monday’s game caught up with us a bit I don’t know because we didn’t quite move the ball with that same energy and vigour as we normally do.
“But do I think we did enough to win the game? Of course I do.”
Mathieu Baudry came close to scoring the winner late on but his header crashed against the crossbar.
“It was a terrific header and I don’t know if the keeper maybe got a finger to that as well which might have put it on to the bar,” Slade said.
“So there were moments of pressure and moments where we could have won the game but it wasn’t to be.”
Orient named an unchanged side for the match, which came as a surprise as Slade confirmed a handful of players were struggling with injuries.
“There was one or two who were struggling. Shaun Batt had a virus and did well to come on the other night [against Brentford] and was very sick for the next 48 hours.
“Jayden Stockley had a fitness test this morning and Scott Cuthbert was 50/50 with that hip injury so there were one or two problems but they’re a good group and they wanted to be out there.”