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Matt Harrold hails Leyton Orient’s comeback win at Oxford

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 24 Feb 2024

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Leyton Orient first-team coach Matt Harrold felt his team were excellent throughout as they came back from a goal down at half-time to win 2-1 at Oxford and give their play-off hopes a big boost.

Tyler Goodrham gave Oxford a 20th-minute lead but the O’s hit back through Ollie O’Neill and George Moncur.

Boss Richie Wellens was sent to the stands for the third time this season, on this occasion for timewasting when making a substitution, so Harrold was again put forward after the match to speak to the press.

And Harrold said: “I thought we played really well.

“I felt they had a goal against the run of play really – we switched off and allowed a runner and they played around us with a little bit of quality.

“But apart from that, I thought we were good in the first half.

“Then we said a few things at half-time and we went from strength to strength and deserved the win.

“We worked on something in the week which came off a few times in the first half and at half-time we urged them to shoot through bodies.

“And that’s what Ollie O’Neill did and it was a great strike into the far corner. It was just that little moment that we were maybe lacking in the first half.

“It was a great goal and with Moncs, we’d said to him at half-time to take more chances – and that’s what happens when he does. He does it all the time in training and it was an unbelievable finish.

“We all know Moncs can do it, we just want to see it more often.

“It just shows what he can do. He’s fresh, he’s hungry and I think he looks really confident. We all believe in him so much – he’s done it, with a great goal and it was a great moment for us.

“I’ve got to be honest, I thought the red card for Richie seemed a little harsh because we were just trying to make a substitution which we’d made clear we wanted to do and I thought a lot of our yellow cards were harsh too.

“The gaffer’s disappointed – it doesn’t look great, obviously, but I thought that one was a harsh one.”

Oxford boss Des Buckingham admitted his team’s performance was not good enough.

He said: “I’m disappointed with the performance because we didn’t deserve to win the game.

“But we’re still sixth in the table and we’ve got 11 more opportunities to make sure we stay where we want to stay.

“We’ve only got the one point from these last two home games which is not what we wanted.

“The first goal they scored we had four different chances to clear the ball and we didn’t. And the second one, we allowed a guy who’s right-footed onto his right foot to shoot.

“But we’ll deal with this together. It’s not about looking for excuses or blame. That’s not where you take a group of people where you want to go.

“Yes, it’s about accountability and making sure across the group we’re all clear about what we’re doing.

“It’s still a work in progress, it was never going to happen overnight.

“It’s something we will work on hard throughout the rest of the season and make sure we get right.

“We have to find that combination and we will find that combination.

“We have a free week before the Portsmouth game and it’s important we use these four days on the training ground to get back on track to get as many points as we can from the last 11 games.

“We need to get a run of results together to get people here behind us more often.”

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