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Updated: Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade describes fans' booing after Oldham Athletic draw as a 'joke'
Russell Slade criticised certain Leyton Orient fans for their lack of support after the O’s automatic promotion hopes suffered another major setback against Oldham Athletic.
A 90th-minute equaliser denied the Orient a precious win last night and the Orient boss could not hide his emotions in a brief press conference after the match.
Slade criticised some supporters for failing to get behind the promotion challengers. He also conveyed his anger at online “keyboard wizards” for accusing his side of giving up the fight for second place.
The O’s boss undertook his radio interview before storming off without answering further questions from the written press.
Slade said: “The work ethic and commitment is unquestioned. It’s just so sad our crowd in the first half, they just didn’t get behind the team. I find that so disappointing from some of them.
“We even got booed off by some of them at the end. It’s a joke.”
The O’s boss added: “The keyboard wizards are criticising me and saying we’ve given up. We haven’t given up. As a manager, I’ve not given up. This team’s not given up."
Orient looked on course to gain significant ground on second-placed Brentford, after the Bees lost 3-0 at in-form Rotherham, but a spectacular late volley from Korey Smith salvaged an Oldham draw and left the hosts reeling from a missed opportunity.
Slade said: “Obviously I’m devastated as the manager of the football club and the players are devastated.
“There aren’t really any positives from tonight.”
Orient failed to get going in the first half-an-hour and were not helped when midfielder Marvin Bartley, in for the suspended Romain Vincelot, was forced off after 20 minutes.
Slade said: “I don’t know but I think it’s a hamstring injury so obviously that’s a little bit of a setback.
“All these things come at once some times and we’ll just have to deal with them one by one.”
Orient created their first decent chance when Dean Cox, on his 200th appearance for the O’s, sent in a superb delivery which Kevin Lisbie could only head wide of the target.
Cox turned provider again soon after when he set up Moses Odubajo but the winger fired an effort into the side netting.
The hosts grabbed the lead just before the break when Scott Cuthbert headed home.
Defender Cuthbert came agonisingly close to scoring again in the second half but his header was brilliantly saved by Paul Rachubka.
Oldham pushed forward and should have equalised through former Orient striker Charlie MacDonald, but he shot wide.
But the visitors punished Orient in the 90th minute through Smith’s effort to net them a deserved point.
Slade said: “I don’t know. I’m frustrated tonight. I’m frustrated for the players.
“I’ve just looked at the DVD. We’ve had five wonderful opportunities to score tonight and we’ve just taken the one unfortunately.”
The O’s could seal their play-off spot on Saturday when they host Bradford but the manager admits it won’t be easy to lift his players after their midweek disappointment.
Slade said: “It will be difficult to lift them for Saturday but they’re a good group. We will because we’ll deal with it. We’ll get on with it and we’ll be ready.”
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