Steve Davis: I am the right person to turn around Leyton Orient’s form
PUBLISHED: 23:31 24 October 2017
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Defeat this evening means the O’s have picked up just two points out of a possible 27
Steve Davis insists he is the man to turn things around at Leyton Orient despite seeing his team lose again this evening in the National League.
Gateshead were the latest visitors to depart Brisbane Road with three points after Jordan Burrow netted a brace in a 2-0 win for the Heed.
The loss led to some O’s supporters calling for the 52-year-old to depart his post after a run of seven defeats from Orient’s last 11 games in all competitions.
But Davis said: “As a manager you put pressure on yourself anyway to perform and do the best job you possibly can and we’ve got to find a way of getting out of this situation.
“We are working very hard during the week to do that and working with the group we have got at the moment to find a way of winning.
“We have changed the shape four or five times now to try and find some formula to get a result, but whatever we’ve done it has not quite worked, so we’ve got to keep doing it and keep believing and keep fighting.
“I know there is plenty of fight in me and over the past three years it has been easy to vent that type of frustration (calling for the manager to leave).
“I fully understand the frustration of tonight and what has happened at the football club, but I am the right person to turn this around along with Martin (Ling) and the rest of the staff and the players as well and when we get everyone available we’ll turn it around.
“Up until that point, we’ve got to show some fight and graft and to roll our sleeves up and that was missing tonight and that’s the most important thing.”
After criticising his players following the 1-0 loss to Macclesfield Town on Saturday, Davis would have expected a positive reaction this evening.
Yet Orient fell behind early on at Brisbane Road with Burrow scoring from close range after a cross into the area wasn’t dealt with.
It resulted in the O’s head coach changing formation from a 5-3-2 to a 4-3-3 before then going to a 4-4-2 later in the contest.
Davis explained his thinking: “We didn’t get the start we wanted and I thought our players were very flat at the start of the game.
“They warmed up well and we always look at that warm up and how they are preparing and they looked up for it, but when we got out there they were second best straight away.
“We looked like we were getting pinned back very early on in the game because we couldn’t pick up the second ball and so it needed a change.
“I will take responsibility for the shape – that’s how we’ve played in the last four games and its been quite successful and we haven’t been conceding as many - so I changed to a 4-3-3 and shifted it across and tried to get a bit more pace on the outside with (James) Brophy coming out to the left.
“All it did at that point was make it even without us being able to impose ourselves on the opposition and we didn’t create a great deal until ‘Moons’ had his opportunity in the second half, which was clear cut.
“We had a lot of balls across the box and a lot of things flashing across without anyone getting on the end of it and it’s another game where we haven’t been able to score and we don’t look like scoring even when we get in as free as we did, but (Mooney’s chance) was a game changing moment for us and it would have made a difference.”
After Mooney saw a close range effort saved by Dan Hanford, the confidence seemed to dessert O’s and Gateshead made it 2-0 when Charlie Grainger and Mark Ellis failed to communicate with each other in the 80th minute.
The final 10 minutes were played at a low tempo with Orient never looking like scoring against Steve Watson’s Heed.
“No supporter will ever forgive a lack of running and rolling your sleeves up, so that’s paramount for any professional,” said Davis.
“I thought after the second goal we went missing and there was a lot of effort and running, but without the quality.
“We had a disappointing start to the first half and it was just an even game after which I couldn’t see us getting into, but second half I thought we started quite well and ‘Moons’ chance was the best we created tonight.”
Orient are now just four points above the relegation zone ahead of a daunting trip to Wrexham this weekend.
Davis, however, remains confident of turning their form around, he added: “The players are really lacking confidence and it is very up and down at the moment with their performances.
“It looks like they are going to produce something one minute and then the next it rolls under their foot, but it is up to me to try and get the best out of this group and at the moment I am not getting the best out of them.”