26 December 2023

Richie Wellens: Orient were worthy winners against Charlton

26 December 2023

Leyton Orient boss Richie Wellens believes his team deserved their 1-0 slender success over Charlton.

Orient recorded only their second win in their last 10 league matches to avenge an opening-day-of-the-season loss at Charlton and they had central defender Omar Beckles to thank for their victory.

The match seemed to be heading for a stalemate when Beckles turned a cross from substitute Dan Agyei into the net from close range with 10 minutes to go to give the home side all three points.

“I think Charlton started the game really well and they have clever players up the top end of the pitch with Blackett-Taylor and May,” Wellens said.

“The first half was a little bit edgy with neither team showing the intensity and they can be a threat on the counter attack but our energy and pressing in the second half was excellent, particularly from our front four players and I thought we probably deserved the win.

“We knew would have to defend at times. They are a very good team playing forward and we tried to negate them having the majority of possession deeper. In terms of defending our box we were very good from Omar Beckles and Dan Happe.

“I’m very consistent in my way of thinking. I’ve always said this is progress we need to make. The last 170 minutes football following Bolton, and again this afternoon against Charlton, we’ve been excellent and will keep improving. Both of those are massive clubs and we need to keep learning.”

For his part, visiting boss Michael Appleton was feeling down on his luck.

He felt George Dobson should have been awarded a penalty and thinks his players are being too nice.

“If we get what we deserve today then we would have had a blatant penalty,” he said.

“It is what it is and it’s just not going for us as Dobson was literally dragged to the ground.

“I can guarantee if that’s up the other end then it’s a penalty. They would have surrounded the referee and I think we’re just too nice a group at times and we don’t have enough players with that ruthless streak in them to do what we need.

“It was frustrating and disappointing. I think when you get these type of games, where we looked a little bit nervous, the first thing you want to do is keep a clean sheet and that is something we’ve struggled to do that this season which has made it doubly difficult.

“If I’m honest I don’t feel we were under pressure, but they had a 10-minute spell and we can’t step away from the game losing with the opposition only having that short period. Ultimately you have to come through that and make sure the opposition don’t score.

“Overall though I just think we’ve showed a really lack of quality on the last few games in that final third.”

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