Captain Nathan Clarke accepts the O’s “crumbled” at Rotherham United and admits they need a quick response this weekend as they look to get their promotion bid back on track.
A late Alex Revell goal sunk Orient at the death on Saturday as they suffered only their second away league defeat this season. Clarke believes the visitors got carried away with pushing for a winner when they should have made sure of a point against the Millers.
Clarke said: “We’re absolutely gutted to be fair. There is a lot of hard work that went into that and we’re obviously disappointed at firstly going behind but the work-rate and determination to get back on level terms was fantastic from the lads.
“With the conditions and the crowd getting behind them, I guess we’ve crumbled at the end which is not like us. We need to look at that and sort it out.
“Straight after a game you’re obviously emotional and disappointed with the loss especially when you think you’re a couple of minutes away from pinching a point and getting back on the coach and being happy enough with that.
“Possibly we could have slowed things down. We got carried away and got a little bit excited and tried to go for the full three points. Some games you’ve just got to take the point and move on.”
The O’s were backed by more than 700 loyal fans at Rotherham and Clarke was quick to praise their support, particularly after the late disappointment.
He said: “It was a fantastic turnout and we were getting tweets all the way through Friday about the following we were going to have. They stayed right until the end to clap us off and they’re going to be as disappointed as we are. We felt as if we had a point in the bag and possibly so did they.”
Despite the setback, Clarke remains positive and has targeted a swift response over the next week with home games against Peterborough United and Bristol City giving them the chance to move back into the automatic promotion places.
The former Huddersfield Town centre-back said: “We’re a couple of points off now with a game in hand. We’ve got to look at this with a week now to analyse this game and see what we can improve on. We’ve got a couple of home games now to really push on and be positive so we move onto the next one.
“It’s another week now on the training pitch and we’ve got to keep focused and keep believing. We’re in a fantastic position and we need to keep positive and really look forward to the game. There’s absolutely loads left with 18 games remaining so it’s all in our hands and if we focus on ourselves and and not worry too much about other teams then we’ll be right in there.”
Brentford and Wolves sit above the O’s in the top two spots of League 1 but Clarke insists no-one at the club is worrying about tracking their results. He is just focused on ensuring Orient do their job rather than relying on slip-ups from their closest rivals.
The 30-year-old said: “At the end of the day, if we keep winning and picking up points that will take care of itself. We can’t afford to look at other teams and worry about what they’re doing and whether they’re picking up points. We have to concentrate on ourselves, put this one behind us and move on.”
Moses Odubajo netted his eighth goal of the season at Rotherham and the winger again provided evidence of his growing ability and influence which will inevitably lead to him playing at a higher level.
The O's skipper said: “He’s [Odubajo] been brilliant again this season following on from last year.
“He’s been a real jewel for us and as much as we can get him on the pitch he turns up and does stuff like that. As a player, you know you can just give it to him and he will give us a bit of magic.”