Leyton Orient's Ben Chorley believes the team's defending has made all the difference
Leyton Orient centre-half Ben Chorley believes the team’s defensive steel is the secret to the team’s recent up-turn in form.
The O’s thrashed Yeovil Town 4-1 on Tuesday night to record their third straight victory which represents a significant turnaround after Russell Slade’s side lost their first four matches of the season.
And Chorley, who scored the opening goal in the third minute, believes defensive improvements all over the pitch are what’s made the difference.
He said: “The team is defending better - we’re getting to the ball quicker and winning more second balls early on up the pitch and that means there are less balls coming back at us.
“In the second half (against Yeovil) we started slacking off and we were giving away corners, free-kicks and throw-ins, and that just invites pressure.
“We’ve been trying to play a lot higher up the pitch because that’s this league, whether you like it or not it’s a scrappy game for the first hour normally.”
After three games the O’s were yet to register a point but Chorley insists the team never doubted the results would come with time.
“The mood’s been good all season,” he said.
“It was a tough start – we had three away games out of four and then we had Everton away in the cup, but we’ve established what we’re good at now.
“We’ve got a good balance with Cox on the right and Cook on the left so when we get the ball we give it to our ball players and they’re getting great balls into the box and we’re taking our chances.
“We had seven or eight new signings playing on the first day against Charlton so it was always going to take time.”
One of those signings is young goalkeeper, Ryan Allsop, whose performances have been at the heart of Orient’s solidity at the back.
The 20-year-old, who was released last summer by Millwall, has been in sparkling form and Chorley had nothing but praise for him.
Chorley said: “I can’t speak highly enough of the goalkeeper - it beggars belief how he got released by a club and then couldn’t find another one.
“His kicking is some of the best I’ve seen, he’s very confident, he comes for crosses – I can’t speak highly enough of him.”
Next up for the O’s is Crewe Alexandra, who have enjoyed a steady start, drawing their last three games and sitting equal with Orient on ten points having played a game more.
Assistant manager Kevin Nugent is under no illusions that it will be a tough match and insists nobody at the club is going to get complacent.
“I’m sure everyone is going to be vying for a place in the side and we’ll be really looking forward to that game now,” he said.
“In this league you can get on a run - teams can win a few in a row, they can lose a few and we feel it’s going to be tight in this league and on any given day anyone can beat anyone.
“I’ve been at Orient for a long time and I know we can get carried away by a few performances and results but it’s early in the season so we’re not going to get carried away at all.”
The match kicks off tomorrow at 3pm.