Skip to main content Skip to site footer
League One

Russell Slade hails Leyton Orient's 'solid' first-half display against Stevenage

19 February 2014

Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade acknowledged his side's first-half display proved significant in their 2-0 victory over struggling Stevenage.

Moses Odubajo and Chris Dagnall scored within the opening 24 minutes to take the O's back into an automatic promotion place in Sky Bet League 1 on goal difference ahead of Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Slade said: "It was a good solid performance, particularly in the first half when I thought we dominated the game. We probably should have gone and got ourselves a third goal which would have sealed the match.

"In the first half we played with good energy, moved the ball around well and created a lot of openings and they struggled to come to terms with that, hence they changed their shape.

"Fair play to Stevenage, they had a real go in the second half and we had to deal with their physicality and that particularly comes into play from corners and free-kicks, and it caused us a problem from time to time in those areas.

"But we managed to keep the ball out of the back of the net and that was the most important thing. Eldin Jakupovic deserves a mention for his save in the last few minutes because it was a great save.

"I was pleased that Chris Dagnall was able to score his first goal at home but more importantly pleased that the club has got three vital points. It was solid team performance and that's what we need to carry forward and build on for Saturday when we meet Swindon."

Stevenage stepped up their game after the interval and Darius Charles came close to reducing the deficit, while on-loan Orient 'keeper Jakupovic pulled off an outstanding save in the closing minutes from Michael Doughty to secure his clean sheet.

Stevenage boss Graham Westley reflected that his side were damaged by the two early goals.

"After the first 24 minutes when they scored two goals, we started to work our way back into the game," he said.

"We started to carve out chances and as the game wore on, we got stronger and it was a pretty even second half. The chances were there for us but we weren't as clinical as they were.

"Our finishing in front of goal was disappointing, it was almost desperate at times with people so wanting to do well but sometimes, the confidence is not there. but there was a good sense of creativity and a good desire to want to go forward.

"Let's face facts, their goalkeeper has made two tremendous saves to keep the score as it was.

"They had those two good chances early on and they have proved to be the difference.

"I thought we worked the ball a lot better here than we have done in many of our performances in the past weeks.

"We would love to have won on Saturday at Rotherham and here but, in fairness, our destiny is going to be decided by some big games against teams in the bottom eight or 10.

"We've got a lot of those at home and they are the really key games."

Advertisement block