It would probably be churlish of me to suggest that we had been ‘mugged off’ twice in seven days after suffering another home defeat.
Not having been party to the win and ‘Beckhamesque’ Dean Cox goal at Walsall in midweek, it was back down to earth with a bump after another Yorkshire side made the long trip south and collected maximum points.
I – and no doubt, many O’s fans – are not aficionados of the gaffer’s 4-5-1 formation, but I would have to be the first to admit that the system seemed to work well in the first period. Frustrating as it was with the lack of width and subsequent dearth of crosses into the box, at least by keeping our shape we seemed to have blunted the Blades.
However, sometimes you have to gamble to win football matches and I am sure the majority of those present on Saturday will have been pleased – or perhaps surprised – that the boss reverted to the 4-4-2 formation that has served us so well recently.
But, the outcome was the Blades were getting in behind us without our extra body in the centre of the park. At this level they are dangerous and everything seemed to go through Dave Kitson – who is too good for this level – having only until recently plied in his trade in the Championship and not that long ago in the Premiership. And, so perhaps – fittingly or damningly – it was his pass that set up Nick Blackman’s stunning strike and it was ‘game over’.
Had we managed any sort of positive result, then the manager would quite rightly have taken the plaudits. But, ultimately we lost a game that never got going. Sheffield United – to be quite honest – were clinical and were nearly always in control.
You can’t, however, criticise the team for the performance. Even though we didn’t create that many chances, on another day Kevin Lisbie’s header goes in and we’re on our way. But their sub keeper – who frustratingly had a quiet 80 minutes – made possibly the best save of his fledgling career and we’ve now lost three out of five at home.
Last Saturday’s gone and now it’s onwards and upwards and with the next two league games against teams in the lower echelons of the division - Bournemouth and Hartlepool - I think those clashes will be more of a measure as to where we are going as a team this season.
After all, we won’t be playing the likes of Sheffield United and Doncaster every week – so I am hoping our last two home reverses have just been a blip.