Leyton Orient boss Ross Embleton believes his side’s enforced break due to a coronavirus outbreak has hindered their start to the season after the O’s slipped to a 2-1 defeat at Walsall.

Orient have lost two and drawn one of their three league games since a raft of Covid-19 cases caused the cancellation of their Carabao Cup tie with Tottenham and this original fixture against the Saddlers.

Danny Johnson’s seventh goal in eight games this term put Orient ahead but Rory Holden and Elijah Adebayo won it for Walsall, despite O’s keeper Lawrence Vigouroux saving Caolan Lavery’s penalty.

“I’ve had a real fear that I didn’t want to put anybody in a vulnerable position in terms of the break that we had and the games that we then have following it,” admitted Embleton.

“I don’t think I would forgive myself if anyone breaks down. The rotation of the squad that I’ve been doing stems from that but maybe we need a little bit more consistency.

“I don’t know how hard we make the opposition work for goals, if we’re aggressive enough to stop people from scoring or getting chances – and that’s not a back four issue, it’s as a team.

“I think it’s really tough on Lawrence, some of the goals we have conceded this season, because I think he’s as good as there is at the level.

“We need to give him a bit more of a chance – the goals we’ve conceded are not allowing his record to look as good as it should do.”

Walsall, meanwhile, climbed to seventh by extending their unbeaten league start and continuing an undefeated run that stretches back 10 games to last season.

Assistant manager Brian Dutton, stepping in for boss Darrell Clarke, said: “For the lads to be a goal down again, like they were at the weekend, and come back to win the game, that’s pleasing to see as it shows the character of the boys.”