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Cambridge United boss Shaun Derry sad to see Leyton Orient in current predicament

PUBLISHED: 17:00 11 April 2017

Leyton Orient midfielder Michael Collins runs past Cambridge United rival Liam O'Neil (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient midfielder Michael Collins runs past Cambridge United rival Liam O'Neil (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

The 39-year-old discusses O’s current plight after Saturday’s match at the Abbey Stadium

Cambridge United manager Shaun Derry hopes Leyton Orient’s downward spiral ends soon after expressing his sympathy for the lowly League Two club following Saturday’s match.

The U’s defeated the struggling east Londoners 3-0 at the Abbey Stadium with Luke Berry, Luke O’Neil and George Maris on target.

But off the pitch Cambridge showed their solidarity for Orient’s plight by allowing the away fans to collect money for LOFT’s Regeneration Fund.

“It’s such a sad state of affairs that has taken place over at Leyton Orient and I was there at Wembley when they were a penalty kick away from the Championship,” said Derry after Saturday’s match.

“The fall from then until now has been pretty stark, but it is a great football club with great fans.

“It is a club I have come up against quite a bit in my short managerial career and that team is unrecognisable to the one I know and respect.”

Orient boss Omer Riza had to play numerous teenagers at Cambridge due to a number of injury issues.

The O’s had eight players aged 20 or younger and relied on Liam Kelly and Michael Collins to guide the inexperienced members through.

Derry admitted Cambridge’s wanted to make life difficult for the visitors, but backed the club to bounce back after the game.

U’s chief executive Jez George offered his support for Orient by writing almost two pages worth of comment on their plight in the matchday programme.

And Derry discussed the impact the current state of affairs will have on O’s talented crop of teenagers, who have been thrush into a high-pressure situation.

He added: “I don’t think the results will affect the young players because they just want to play and if it is in the first-team then it is even better for them.

“It doesn’t help when you are in the group with so many young players because you want to bed them in with senior professionals.

“Obviously it wasn’t the case for Leyton Orient, but our objective on Saturday was to make things a little bit more difficult for them.

“But just by the support you have seen from our football club, I think every football fan in the country wishes Leyton Orient well and it has to change sooner or later.”

LOFT raised £1,800 on Saturday after Cambridge allowed the supporters’ trust to go around with a bucket collection at half time.

On the pitch, the U’s showed no mercy in the end, although were thwarted during the opening half an hour.

But once Berry opened the scoring in the 31st minute – the result was never in doubt and it meant it was a pleasing day for the Cambridge boss.

“It was a comprehensive win. Leading into the game we all read the papers and put the iPad on and we know all the troubles taking place at Leyton Orient,” said Derry.

“We weren’t too sure what team was going to arrive, so we planned as if it would be their first-team and there were a lot of names that were different to what we expected.

“But we asked for three points and that was the objective and we got that and I thought we dominated from start to finish and I wish Leyton Orient well now.”

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