PERFECT START FOR BOSS KEV
KEVIN Nolan was known for his goal-scoring exploits as a player but the new Leyton Orient boss suggested defence was the way forward for his new side after collecting a dream win in his first game as manager.
Second-half goals from Jay Simpson and Calaum Jahraldo sealed a comfortable win at Adams Park as Orient inflicted a third consecutive league defeat on Wycombe.
Nolan, who has been training with the east London side for three months, was appointed only on Thursday but his immediate impact saw Orient secure their first clean sheet in the league since October
“We’ve worked really hard with the team over the last two days and it’s all come to fruition,” said Nolan.
“When I got them in at half-time I reminded them of the quality they’ve got and I think you can see that in how they came out in the second half. They kept Wycombe pressed in their half for a good five-minute spell and that set the tone for the rest of the game.
“We hadn’t had a clean sheet for more than two months so had to score more than once to win a game.
“When you’ve got a player like Jay Simpson in your team you should be in the top seven in this league.
“He only needs one chance as you’ve seen out there so if we can keep games tight at the back then we’re away.”
Nolan, who was a lively figure on the touchline throughout, would have seen better first halves of football as neither side registered an effort on target in the opening 45 minutes.
Ollie Palmer headed wide from Jobi McAnuff’s free-kick just after the half-hour mark before Jahraldo fired over from 15 yards.
But the former West Ham and Newcastle man didn’t have to wait long after the break to celebrate his first goal as Simpson converted his 21st of the seaon from close range after collecting Mathieu Baudry’s header inside the area.
Jahraldo then wrapped up the points late on as Simpson turned provider on the break, slipping in the winger to slide past the onrushing Alex Lynch.
Wycombe are still yet to score in the league this year and Gareth Ainsworth knows he needs his side’s fortunes to improve at both ends of the pitch if they’re to maintain a play-off push that they built in fine style at the start of the season.
“They’ve had two shots on goal the whole game and both gone in so that’s not on,” said Ainsworth.
“To concede the first like that was a really poor one to give away and you can’t let a player like Jay Simpson have two touches in the box like that.
“The spark wasn’t there going forward which is not like us and as a team need to start creating and scoring more goals.
“We’ve got some tough games coming up so need to get back to our early season form of defending better as a group.
“There wasn't much in the game at all but two shots on goal in the whole game and they’ve both gone in and that’s poor.”