Russell Slade was pleased with his side’s “excellent” performance in a 1-1 draw with Championship side Ipswich Town this afternoon but conceded the O’s could have been more “ruthless”.
Orient were the better side in the first half and saw good chances via Lloyd James, Romain Vincelot and Bradley Pritchard go to waste as Ipswich opened the scoring with their first real attempt on goal.
Balint Bajner was the man on hand to tap into the net from close-range after Adam Legzdins had saved well from Jay Tabb, giving the Tractor Boys a lead they had scarcely earned.
The O’s enjoyed less control after the break but dug out an equaliser from the penalty spot when James converted following Alex Henshall’s foul on ex-Ipswich forward, Kevin Lisbie.
Reflecting on an unbeaten end to pre-season, Slade said: “That’s just what we wanted – a really competitive game against a strong Championship side – so to get something out of it at the death - was pleasing.”
He continued: “Between the two boxes I thought we were excellent, particularly in the first half, I thought we moved the ball really well, opened them up and created chances.
“What we didn’t do, we weren’t ruthless enough in the box. We possibly should have made more of the opportunities that we had. The second half I thought was a little bit more even. They stepped it up a little bit but we stayed in the game – which was important – and we got our reward.”
Orient were indebted to summer signing Legzdins in the second-half, the former Derby County goalkeeper denying David McGoldrick and then Henshall from point-blank range before the hosts snatched an equaliser.
Said Slade: “He’s done remarkably well [Adam Legzdins] and it’s those sort of things [double-save] that keep you in games, that gets you something out of football matches or win you a football match and that my message at the end of the game.”
The game also saw debuts from the bench for new signings Jobi McAnuff and Jay Simpson, whilst Darius Henderson was left out the matchday squad.
Explaining their limited involvement, Slade said: “They’re looking forward to it [Jay Simpson & Jobi McAnuff], they couldn’t wait to get started but they have to understand that we’re still bringing them up to speed, they’re still behind, they’re still working hard with the fitness coach and that will continue.
“He’s [Darius Henderson] come in a little bit later than the other two and he’s working morning, afternoon and whenever possible with Lee to get him up to speed,” Slade explained.
“It’s difficult to say at this stage [whether he’ll be fit for Chesterfield] but we’ll monitor it. We want a fit side at the start of the season.
“Obviously these boys will play their part as the season goes on – as everybody will – but the timing of them being available and at their best and at their strongest is still to come.”