Cisak happy to keep it clean
PUBLISHED: 17:30 25 February 2016
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Australian reflects on good defensive form under Kevin Nolan and competition for places at Brisbane Road
Leyton Orient goalkeeper Alex Cisak is pleased to be keeping clean sheets again and has praised the whole squad for their recent improved defensive displays.
The Australian stopper has earned four shut-outs in his last six League Two outings since Kevin Nolan took over as player-manager.
Prior to the former West Ham United captain getting the Brisbane Road job, clean sheets had been hard to achieve.
Cisak had conceded in 23 of the 27 matches he played in before Nolan’s appointment, but paid tribute to the whole O’s squad.
The 26-year-old believes a mixture of things have enabled the east Londoners to keep it tighter at the back.
“Since the gaffer has come in he has been working a lot with the back four, but it is not just me keeping clean sheets it is the whole defence and the 11 actually working as a team to defend better,” said Cisak.
“It is four clean sheets out of six, but we do need to do better at home because we have been playing more solid on the road and getting the results.
“At Brisbane Road we definitely do need to improve our record and hopefully that starts on Saturday when we play Crawley Town.”
Orient earned a third successive away victory under Nolan at Notts County last weekend.
Shaun Brisley scored the only goal of the game at Meadow Lane – a fixture where Cisak wasn’t called upon too much.
He revealed why he needed to stay focused, however, and the style now being implemented by the O’s.
Under previous boss Ian Hendon, Orient managed three clean sheets in their first five league games before they suddenly started to ship goals more regularly.
Cisak added: “You have just got to be behind the back four, working on getting the right positioning and if there are any balls over the top you have to sweep up behind.
“That is the way the gaffer wants to play – keeping a high line and it is working so far.
“We had a really good start to the season, we got three clean sheets in five or six games and then we went through a spell where we couldn’t get enough wins.
“If we had got more victories in that period then we would be a lot higher in the table.
“The clean sheets are happening now, though, and we just need to go on and take every game as it comes.”
Orient’s back four hasn’t been that settled since Nolan arrived with seven defenders used in his six matches.
Cisak believes the new additions in the back four have ensured everybody is on their toes.
“Obviously the gaffer has brought some players in and I think it is healthy for the team to have competition for places,” said the Australian.
“Everyone is pushing each other and you know if you are not playing up to standard then the gaffer will bring somebody else in.
“It is good for us and competition is healthy. Hopefully it can drive us on to get more wins.”