Orient boss confident leaders will bounce back against Rotherham (From East London and West Essex Guardian Series)
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Leyton Orient boss expects League One leaders to bounce back against Rotherham after Coventry City loss
Russell Slade believes his side will bounce back immediately this weekend following the end of their 12-match unbeaten run in League One.
Orient remain top of the table but suffered their first league defeat of the season on Tuesday night after losing 3-1 at Coventry City. The O’s boss insists their response to the setback is critical and has backed his team to get back on track at home to Rotherham United on Saturday.
Slade said: “We will [respond] because we’ve got a great team spirit and a real good bond with players that really want to do well for themselves and each other. We’ve had a setback tonight but inevitably it was going to happen at some stage. It would have been very difficult to go through the season with a perfect record, in terms of losing, so you have to lose at some stage.
“That’s exactly what we’ve talked about afterwards. It’s important to still remain positive just because you’ve had one defeat. They’ve got character and they’ll galvanise each other. They want to do it for each other and it’s a great opportunity on Saturday at home to go and get a result against another very competitive side where it won’t be easy.
“They’re [Rotherham] a good side and it will be another test and challenge. But that’s what it is all about, being knocked down to your knees and getting back up again. We’ve all failed in life. You’ve failed in life, I’ve failed in life, but it’s about bouncing back and coming back.”
Slade is renowned for his relentlessly positive outlook and this has rubbed off on the club during their best ever winning start to the season. The O’s boss is focused on ensuring their defeat does not lead to any negativity around the camp.
He said: “I think that’s the important thing because we don’t want a blame mentality. I don’t want people pointing fingers at each other and having a chew at somebody else because that’s not the way forward. Making excuses is a complete waste of energy and time. We’re not going to make excuses and not going to blame each other. We’re going to roll our sleeves up and try to get a positive result for this football club and keep us right at the top.”
Kevin Lisbie missed the midweek defeat due to the injury he picked up at Tranmere and the club’s top scorer is rated doubtful for their next match.
The former Charlton Athletic striker, who has scored 11 goals this season, was badly missed in Northampton on Tuesday but the manager insists they can cope in his absence.
Slade said: “If you’d seen the game on Saturday, Goodison [Ian] has gone in on him and given him a real good whack. Kev was a bit fortunate really in that if he had planted his foot he might have been out for the season. He’s got some bone bruising which is causing him a problem and stopping him running at this stage and at best he’ll be 50-50 for Saturday.
“But you know life has to go on and Lis is not going to be away for too many games and whoever comes in and whatever we go with we still have to be strong enough to get over the line.”
Orient will have to overcome a poor record at home to the Millers with Rotherham unbeaten in their last eight trips to London.
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