06 August 2022

Richie Wellens calls Leyton Orient a ‘work in progress’ after back-to-back wins

06 August 2022

Leyton Orient head coach Richie Wellens called his side “a work in progress” after a superb strike from defender Tom James at Crawley gave the O’s their second successive league victory.

James, who scored Orient’s second goal in the opening 2-0 win over Grimsby with another screamer, settled the issue five minutes after the break to delight Wellens and 800 travelling fans.

Wellens said: “We are a work in progress and it’s nice to have six points in two games.

“To be honest there was not a lot for our fans to shout about for the majority of the game but Crawley is not an easy place to come.”

New Reds manager Kevin Betsy is placing a stronger emphasis on keeping possession and Wellens believes the transformation will succeed.

He added: “You’ve got to admire Kevin Betsy for the philosophy; credit to him. He’ll be okay. They have signed some exciting players and will be a good team.”

Wellens, who admits he is seeking to sign a holding midfielder, believes Tuesday’s Carabao Cup tie against Forest Green is a game they “don’t really need”.

He added: “We had a lot of injuries pre-season but have to get on with it. We picked up no injuries today, it was just general fatigue.”

Crawley have gone into the new season with 13 new signings and, responding to some negativity on the final whistle, Betsy said: “When you are 1-0 down and your confidence suffers a bit it is hard.

“There will be no lack of application and we will improve, I promise that. Once the players are more familiar with themselves it will come.”

The former Arsenal Under-23s boss, who took over from John Yems on a two-year contract, believes his new-look team will show their ability on the pitch.

He added: “It is a case of time. We’ve lost two games by 1-0 and that’s football.

“The image is that we have changed everything but we haven’t. There is still a lot of players with a lot of experience.

“This was a game when we were too slow in our build-up and we didn’t threaten enough in the final third.”

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