Ward decribes U’s display as ‘soft’

COLCHESTER United manager John Ward described today’s 4-2 defeat at lowly Leyton Orient as his team’s worst performance of the season.

The U’s slipped to only their second away defeat in the league this season against a Leyton Orient side that were thrashed 5-0 at Brighton two days’ previous and came into the match just two points off the drop zone.

Colchester had played over half of their high-tempo 3-3 draw against Charlton on Saturday with 10-men and that seemed to catch up with them in the second period at Brsibane Road.

“I’m really disappointed and surprised as I’ve not really seen that in my group of players before,” said Ward, whose side had only conceded seven goals in eight league away games prior to this.

“I thought it was a soft performance. It’s probably the sofest performance my team has put in this season.

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“Take nothing away from Leyton Orient because they capitalised, but we should have done better.

“Two of our goals have come from two big errors (poor Matt Heath back header and Ben Williams deflecting the ball into own net).

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“That’s what I mean when I say it was soft. Not only were we out-bullied physically, but we were soft with our decision making too. Too many times we were offside or giving away free-kicks.”

The U’s have played with a much-changed back four in the last two games due to injuries to the injuries and illnesses of Brian Wilson, Magnus Okuonghae, Marc Tierney and Pat Baldwin.

However, after witnessing his side concede seven goals in three days, Ward is failing to use selection problems as an excuse.

“Whether last Saturday’s efforts had an effect we can only guess,” said the U’s boss. “I can’t use selection as an excuse though because I have been saying how good my squad is for some time now.

“Rightly I praised them after Saturday’s game, but I’m disappointed with them today. I’ve told them that and they agree with my assesment.”

He added: “This was not a good advert for the league because both teams made mistakes. It’s a word of warning to me because if we play like that at Swansea this weekend (FA Cup third round) then we will spend the whole game chasing the ball and picking it out of our net.”

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