Mixed feelings for Michael Duff after Cheltenham’s victory at Leyton Orient

Michael Duff's Cheltenham beat Leyton Orient
Michael Duff's Cheltenham beat Leyton Orient - (Copyright PA Wire)
18:06pm, Sat 03 Oct 2020
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Cheltenham boss Michael Duff had mixed feelings after his side’s 2-0 away win at Leyton Orient.

The Robins recorded their second successive away League Two win through a Sam Ling own goal and a Finn Azaz effort – with both coming in the first half – but Duff insisted there were shortcomings in his team’s play.

“I thought that we were excellent for 20 minutes and scored two goals but then we came off it,” he said. “There were positives within that 20 minutes but we’ve got to be better than that.

“I feel a bit frustrated because that’s a couple of times now that we’ve gone two goals ahead and come off it.

“There is credit, we’ve kept another clean sheet and put on a couple of good blocks but it’s just a strange feeling, you are obviously delighted to win the game, but I still think that there are another two or three gears to go.

“It’s not about the standards I set but what the players set. I get that games ebb and flow and that you are not going to be dominant for 90 minutes but you can’t switch off for 10 minutes and never get going again for the whole of the second half.

“We are asking players to have a more ruthless streak and be more clinical and I don’t just mean with our finishing, I mean the way we move it, don’t become sloppy and slow because we proved in that good 20-minute spell that we looked like scoring every time we got the ball forward.

“So as I say, it’s a weird feeling.”

Orient head coach Ross Embleton admitted it was difficult to prepare his side for the match after a number of the Orient players had been affected by Covid-19.

“I am not one to make excuses and we did everything in our power to prepare for the game as best as we possibly could given the circumstances,” he explained.

“I had 10 minutes on the pitch with the players this morning and we went out on the pitch to talk through the game ahead and our instructions which was when I told them the team.

“I think there are certain elements of our game we can keep improving and things we can adjust and if you do them quicker then we can improve our first half rather than waiting to go behind.

“The fact we were pushed into playing a game of football today is something that has always concerned me because I worry for the welfare of our players and staff and if we had got anything from the game that would have been a bonus.

“Our players have been sat indoors doing a zoom call for training into an elite game, as professional athletes shouldn’t be in this position with very little time to recover.”

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