The Opposition View: Leyton Orient

Last updated : 23 December 2015 By Jim Bonner

After such a strong start to the season, Orient have fallen away from the top of League Two. Why is this?

The manager Ian Hendon is mainly to blame. His tactics appear to have been found out by most of the teams we play and he is unable to change them effectively. We also struggle to keep clean sheets, mainly because as a whole team (not just the back four and the goalkeeper) we struggle to contain teams and we're very easily broken down. We've lost two players to long term injuries but then every team gets injuries.

What do you make of the job Ian Hendon is doing at your club after last season's farce?

He is hugely underachieving. He inherited a team of players who have played in the league above, some of whom have won promotion from there, whilst others consistantly performed well for us the last 3-5 years we were in League One and he also inherited the top goalscorer in the division in Jay Simpson, who should really be playing in the Championship.

So, right now he is failing very badly.

What's the current state of Leyton Orient off the pitch?

Off the pitch we're in an awful state. The club's new owner is awful at communicating with the supporters, although he has made a better effort this season.

We're also paying/have been paying silly high wages for a club of our size to certain players and staff members, which as a club as a whole on our current crowds, isn't the most sustainable.

Communication is generally very poor, with lots of stories coming out in the press with how badly things are currently run behind the scenes.

Alex Cisak, Cole Kpekawa, John Marquis and Paul McCallum all had loan spells at Pompey in the last couple of years. What do Orient fans think of them?

Alex Cisak: Is a solid goalkeeper for this level, very good shot stopper but flaps alot at crosses and needs to command his box better. Put in alot of excellent displays last season though and we would've been down quicker if it wasn't for him.

Cole Kpekawa: He's only been here a month, looks comfortable at centre back or left back but not quite ready to push for the QPR first team I feel. Needs to work on his ball distribution.

John Marquis: Personally, I feel there is a good player in him but he hasn't been utilised correctly here. We've played him more as an attacking midfielder and as a wide-left striker, rather than as traditional centre forward, which has limited his chances in front of goal. Needs to work on his temprement though.

Paul McCallum: Started like a house on fire and scored in three of our opening four games, to me looks like a capable "six yard box poacher" striker for League Two but is sadly out injured for the rest of the season. It's a shame as he has the potential to be a useful player at this level. I saw he was sent off for Portsmouth for violent behaviour towards match officials and you can see he carries that edge in his game.

Who are the key players in your team?

Jay Simpson: Should easily be playing in the Championship and has demostrated that when he is fully fit he is a capable striker.

Dean Cox: The club's longest serving player who has been our best player for consistency for the last 5 years, capable of spectacular goals and assists. Sadly out injured now for the rest of the season.

What are the biggest strengths and weaknesses of this current Orient side?

Strengths include our all-round general forward play. We usually create chances in a game and have players playing below their level, who are capable of scoring spectacular goalsor finding that something extra to find a pass to create a chance.

Our main weakness is our inability to keep clean sheets or defend as a team from open play - mainly from midfield. We allow our opponents lots of space in midfield and get picked off usually very easilyusually with our opponents running in behind us.

7What kind of match can we expect on Boxing Day and would you take a draw if offered to you now?

I would expect Portsmouth to easily beat us. We've drawn our last four in the league but we've performed poorly in at least three of those and failed to hold leads in all four games. I would happily take a draw now.

Predict the outcome of the game.

Should be a walk in the park for Portsmouth with our poor manager and defence, so 5-0 to Portsmouth.