Tom Parkes: I enjoyed the responsibility of trying to help Leyton Orient’s young defenders against Doncaster Rovers
PUBLISHED: 14:30 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 14:30 20 March 2017
Simon O'Connor Photography
Ex-Leicester City youngster discusses Saturday’s performance and result against League Two leaders and backs Aron Pollock to bounce back after his mistake
Tom Parkes enjoyed the extra responsibility at the back for Leyton Orient despite the League Two strugglers suffering another defeat last weekend.
Doncaster Rovers proved too strong for the O’s in the end, but Danny Webb’s team matched the leaders throughout the first half.
Parkes was a rock in defence for Orient and scored a stunning equaliser in the 44th minute, but ended up on the losing side.
He said: “You have got to look after the back four when you have Myles (Judd) who is only just 18, Aron Pollock is nearly 19 and Michael Clark is 18.
“I remember when I was that age and playing. I had older lads around me, so when you have three young lads you have to make sure you are talking to them all the time.
“To be honest it can make you focused a little bit more and I enjoyed trying to help them, but the result is all that matters.”
Although Parkes couldn’t help O’s claim a win or draw, the centre back showed his talent with an assured display.
The former Bristol Rovers captain has struggled for form this season, although rarely had a consistent partner in defence.
On Saturday he lined up alongside Clark while Pollock was forced to play out of position at right-back.
After initially doing well, the academy graduates endured a difficult second half against Doncaster.
Pollock was at fault for the visitors’ crucial second goal, but Parkes backed the teen to respond positively.
He added: “Aron will massively learn from this and he is a great player. He has not had too many opportunities this season, but for me he is fantastic.
“He has great potential and I thought in the first half he did everything perfect and did all the simple things well.
“I believe he will learn from the mistakes he made against Doncaster and it is the same for Michael, Judd and me.
“Even though I was the oldest in the back four I am still only young, so we need to learn from this and take it into Saturday (away to Crawley Town).”
There were plenty of positives for Orient to take from last weekend despite their defeat against Doncaster at Brisbane Road.
Webb’s team produced some impressive football in the first half and defended well up until the 55th minute.
But afterwards the likes of Pollock and Clark struggled and Rovers really could have scored more than four times.
“When we came in at half time we sat down and said don’t give anything sloppy away because Doncaster are a good team which is why they are top,” said Parkes.
“Unfortunately we gave them a chance and they punished us, but in the first half we looked like the better team at times.
“They probably had more possession than us, but defensively and the way we were set up, we looked strong and made it hard for them.”
It was another defeat for Orient, although a positive day for Parkes and something for him to build on for the rest of the campaign.