Harrogate Town v Leyton Orient: Town urged to ‘come out fighting’

Josh Falkingham believes that Harrogate Town are mentally tough enough to succeed in League Two and has backed them to “come out fighting” against Leyton Orient.

Josh Falkingham.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Josh Falkingham. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Questions have been asked about the Sulphurites’ character after they collapsed from 3-1 up twice in the space of four days on their way to a disappointing draw at Rochdale, then a galling midweek defeat to Exeter City.

But, although the former Leeds United midfielder accepts that he and his team-mates have been found wanting over the last week, he is adamant that there is sufficient mettle within the Wetherby Road changing room.

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“It’s not always going to go our way,” Falkingham said.

“I do believe in the character in this group, we have got that mental toughness, we really do. It’s not a question of whether it’s there, it is there, but at this current moment in the season we are being tested and not dealing with it well enough.

“You’ve got to take it on the chin, you’ve got to be honest. We have got to be tougher mentally and put things right. The games are coming thick and fast, so we’re looking at Leyton Orient on Saturday where we can’t afford to feel sorry for ourselves and we have to come out fighting.

“We need to do everything we can, and I think we will, I know these lads and the character in the group. We’re hurting, that’s just natural and, in tough moments it is hard, but we’ve got to make sure that we perform more like ourselves on Saturday.”

Tuesday’s 4-3 loss at Exeter means that Harrogate have now won just one of their last seven games in all competitions and leaves them in a season-low position of 15th, though Orient are currently in even worse form. They are without a victory in 10 attempts and have scored only once in previous nine matches.