Orient match round-up

Last updated : 11 December 2019 By Dave Moore

Latics' Head Coach, Dino Maamria, looked for the positives after the 1-1 home draw with Leyton Orient on Saturday. He said, “From the outset it's a disappointing draw. We look at those home games that we need to win, but on the other side of it I think the players have give absolutely everything they've got but we've come up short and that's where we are. We've got to be honest about it, we've got to look at the squad we have and we're trying our hardest here to find a team that is going to score goals and win football matches. We've even put Jonny Smith as a centre forward and we're not scoring enough goals. We've got three centre forwards and to be fair to Akpo today, he was tremendous throughout the 80 minutes he played until his legs went a little bit as he's not being playing any football so it's understandable. Jonny Smith was played up front in the last few games because he's a goal threat and he showed that again with his goal. My front line need to do a lot more though because we put a lot of great balls in the box. It was a big lesson from last weekend and my emphasis was on starting nice and bright and on the front foot and we did exactly that. The problem was after the first 15 minutes we stopped playing football. We were smashing balls forward, it just wasn't really enjoyable to watch. It's not what we set out to do. We ended up kicking too many long balls and it's not something we've been working on. We stopped playing basically until we give them the equaliser.”

“The second-half we tried our best and threw everything at it. They were very fortunate, their keeper had a tremendous day. You see the stats with the goals and all the rest of it, we just haven't got that goalscorer we're looking for and that's something I know from day one coming in, I know the squad I've got is lacking in many areas and one of them is lacking goals and it's obvious for everybody to see. Well, I thought he [David Jones] was our best player today. Him and Chris McCann in midfield and Akpo. I'm glad we've got those three players in when we needed to because everybody can see the quality I'm trying to bring in here. Jones was outstanding and with McCann they both totally dominated it. They played the right football, they showed composure, experience, energy and were a goal threat as well. Those two did really well and Akpo had a solid debut and Jonny Smith was a threat throughout the game. So those four did really well. We're disappointed as well because as a back three we defended a little too deep and that allowed their front one, Angol, and even Wilkinson to take the balls on their chest, to their feet and bring other players in and that was disappointing because my emphasis has been to try and press high and make sure we keep a high line. We need to address that because we can't afford to drop that deep and that's what happened when we invited that goal and that's an area of improvement. Overall those players are giving everything they've got, but we are where we are for a reason. We are five unbeaten, three draws and two wins. There is a lot of resilience the team are showing and if you look at when I came and what it is now are totally two different teams. All those are positives and it's been a good return but I'm quite relentless in terms of trying to make sure we're better and I'm getting the maximum out of these players. I want to make sure Boundary Park is a place where the team is a force to be reckoned with and I want to get a team here that they win games before they even kick-off, so other teams know what they're going to get. We're not there yet, we're on route to that.