After watching his side fall to a heavy defeat at relegation threatened Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday night, Russell Slade said it would be his biggest disappointment if his side don’t push on from their current position.
Following the disappointing start to the campaign which saw the O’s fail to win in the league until the beginning of October, a strong run of results saw Orient rise back up the table, achieving what the manager described as a “comfortable position”.
Without a home win since the turn of the year though and following the disappointment of Tuesday, Orient now sit 16th in League One, just six points above the drop zone.
The O’s do have games in hand on everyone below them, but Slade stressed he wants to see his side return to form and pull themselves away from the struggling pack.
He explained: “After all of that hard work to get us in a comfortable position in the table – and probably that is the problem you know, that word comfortable, a comfortable position in the table – and then not push on, it will be my biggest disappointment if that is not the case over the remaining games.
On the second half performance at Adams Park, the manager added: “It had to be an awful lot better didn’t it, because I can’t think when I have ever been so disappointed with any of my teams, and I have done quite a few games now, to see what I saw in that first half in terms of our defensive work – as a group, not just talking about the back four – was so poor, it was horrendous.
“We needed to put that to one side and put a little bit of pride back into the shirt in the second period, stand up and be counted.
“Obviously we were a totally different side in the second half but it was all too late really because the damage had been done in the first period.”
Slade got the response he wanted from his side but it was not enough as the hosts’ four-goal blitz in the opening 45 minutes saw them over the line.
The manager stressed the performance after the break was imperative to see though.
He continued: “Forget the football, that was a life thing for me in the second half. Come out, be counted, be responsible, stand up, be a man and don’t hide on the pitch.
“Thankfully we did that, we took the game to them and we looked a different proposition.”
And with 13 games to go in the campaign, Slade stressed his side would not be feeling sorry for themselves as they look to climb the table once again, finishing the season strongly.
He added that while the result is obviously a setback, the away form has been good, with this being just Orient’s second defeat on the road since they were beaten at Sheffield Wednesday at the end of November.
“It is not a time now to feel sorry for ourselves,” stressed the manager. “It is a time to try and finish the season in good style. We can still do that. We still have the points.
“The bigger picture is that we haven’t done too badly away from home. We have had a couple of setbacks over the last three months like at Carlisle and tonight, but other than that, we have won six games – more than we have lost away from home. It is probably a long time since Orient have done that.”