Steve Davis refused to wave the white flag and insisted he is the right man to take Leyton Orient forward despite the O’s dropping four points from the relegation zone after a ninth game without victory on Tuesday night.

The E10 club trailed from the ninth minute at Brisbane Road against Gateshead, who themselves were seven games without a win, and again were wasteful and unimaginative in possession despite several formation changes from the head coach.

There were loud calls of ‘Davis out’ when they conceded a farcical second 10 minutes from time, and they were again audible as the full-time whistle sounded from those who had not already left Brisbane Road.

Davis said: “In myself, there’s plenty of fight and over the past three years it’s been easy to vent frustration for the fans. 

“I understand it 100 per cent, and when we get everyone available we’ll turn it around but until then we’ve got to show some graft and roll our sleeves up.

“I don’t think any supporter will forgive a lack of running around, fighting and rolling the sleeves up. That went missing after the second goal. 

“In the first half, there was plenty of effort but not the quality, it was an even game I couldn’t see us getting into. David Mooney’s chance was probably the best we created after half-time.”

Davis looks like a man who does not know how to fix the situation at Brisbane Road, lining up his troops in a 3-5-2 for the opening quarter of an hour, and switching to a 4-3-3 and later 4-4-2 before the first half was even complete.

Those changes did little to help matters as the O’s only tested Gateshead’s Dan Hanford once all game, when Mooney should have done better when unmarked eight yards out.

If that didn’t sum up their current predicament, the manner of the visitors’ second goal did - Mark Ellis heading beyond Charlie Grainger, allowing Jordan Burrow an open goal to seal victory.

“We didn’t get the start that we wanted, we were very flat,” Davis said.

“We warmed up well, we looked up for it but when we got out there we were second-best straight away. 

“We were getting pinned back early in the game because we couldn’t pick up the second ball, and we had to change the shape. I’ll take responsibility for that, but it’s worked quite well for us in the past four games. 

“It made it even having Brophy on the left with a bit more pace. We didn’t create much until Mooney had the opportunity in the second half which was clear, but it’s another game where we haven’t scored and we didn’t look like we were going to score either.

“The inconsistency of what I’ve got at the moment shows, the group’s lacking in confidence and very up-and-down in their performances. It’s up to me to get the best out of this group, and I’m not getting that out of them at the moment.”

A number of injuries are not helping the O’s cause, and Davis is unaware of whether his squad will be strengthened ahead of Saturday’s trip to Wrexham.

George Elokobi, Charlie Lee and Matt Harrold are proving big, experienced misses through the core of the team - and the manager is surprisingly honest in his opinions on what remains.

“We just need to get our players back,” he said. “When we do, we’re as good as anyone in the league. 

“All our experienced players aren’t in the group at the moment, and that’s something we’ve not been able to replace. That’s a fact, but if we can drip-feed one or two into the team it’ll help the confidence of the players who are fit now.”