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Leyton Orient manager Steve Davis has called on his side to be braver in possession and to play their own game after stumbling to an opening day 2-0 defeat away to Sutton United. The O’s struggled to create too many clear cut chances as it took until a James Dayton strike in the 73rd minute for the east Londoners to register a shot on target. 

Davis conceded that his side were outmatched by an organised Sutton United outfit but insists he will give his group of players ample opportunity to prove themselves as Orient get accustomed to life in the fifth tier.

“I was disappointed we didn’t play our football when we had time to do that,” Davis said speaking post-match. “We’ve got to brave and courageous in playing, even on the [4G] surface and on our own pitch.

“I want us to be braver and us to work harder to break teams down. We didn’t have enough craft and we weren’t brave enough to try different things. I think it’s too early to make wholesale changes, I think we’ve got to give this group a chance.”

Davis will look back to the second half and the lack of a fightback as a missed opportunity. Sutton, resolute and organised though they were, sat back and challenged Orient to break them down, though there were precious few chances carved out.

“We’re disappointed. We wanted to start the season well and it didn’t happen. The mistake we made first half made it very difficult second half to break them down. We found it very difficult to break down a very resolute defence with a midfielder in front, so we are looking to learn from that.” 

Sutton struck twice in 34 first half minutes as Leyton Orient began life in the National League with a bump, with Davis expressing his disappointment that his side failed to give the 1500+ strong travelling Orient support something to cheer about.

“I can’t speak highly enough of the fans. Going away they will be disappointed, like we are, not being able to win the game. We want to deliver more and we know we’ve got to do better for them. Today was a disappointment that we didn’t come back with something for them, because they deserve that.”

Orient seemed to miss the necessary spark to break down the stubborn Sutton rearguard at Gander Green Lane, succumbing to two goals off of mistakes. 

And Davis will have to weigh up whether he needs to bring in any reinforcements after seeing his side fail to truly threaten Jamie Butler in the Sutton goal, hinting that a big bodied forward may be the key to providing greater versatility in these kind of fixtures. Time will tell on that front.

Much though has been made of Leyton Orient’s delayed pre-season preparations owing to Davis’ late appointment, so it won’t come as the greatest surprise to see that his charges are still getting up to speed with what he wants.

But games come thick and fast in the National League with regular Saturday-Tuesday fixtures, especially in the early weeks of the season, so there are plenty of opportunities to come to put that right – starting with the visit of Solihull Moors on Tuesday night.