Hendon determined to keep Simpson

Jay Simpson scores from the spot for Orient against Portsmouth (pic: Simon O'Connor)

Jay Simpson scores from the spot for Orient against Portsmouth (pic: Simon O'Connor) - Credit: Archant

Brisbane Road head coach discusses Simpson’s future, the defending of his team against Bristol Rovers and the January transfer window

Leyton Orient boss Ian Hendon admitted the club will be doing all they can to keep top goalscorer Jay Simpson during the January transfer window.

The former Arsenal youngster netted his 18th goal of the campaign in the O’s 2-1 loss at Bristol Rovers this afternoon.

He has been in stunning form all season and although talk continues to speculate over his future, it appears he is settled at Brisbane Road.

Orient’s head coach insisted he hasn’t had any contact regarding Simpson and confirmed he hopes to have funds available to strength his squad in next months transfer window.

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“I have had no contact with anybody. I am sure if anybody wants to do anything with Jay Simpson, they will come to me to do something about it,” said Hendon.

“There is no way I want to lose the leading goalscorer at this football club. We’ll do all we can to keep him.

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“The squad is thin and we can’t account for the amount of injuries we have had. We would have loved to have got more players in, but that hasn’t been able to happen for one reason or another.

“I will have to go to the owner and see what happens in the coming weeks. I hope funds will be available for me in January.”

Despite Simpson netting his 18th goal of the League Two season, two strikes by Rory Gaffney earned the Gas all three points.

It was an even encounter at the Memorial Stadium, but Rovers ensured Orient would end the year with a loss.

Hendon was frustrated with the defending of his team, adding: “We were just talking about it in the dressing room, we are having to change our back four too much for one reason or another. I am not very happy about that for different reasons.

“Connor Essam was a little bit rusty, I have got to be fair to him. He is disappointed and you have to look at the first goal.

“The lad is in the box and we have got three defenders who all go to ground and make it easy for him to finish.

“They just need to stay on there feet – it is the first rule of defending. You don’t sell yourself, you stay on your feet and make it difficult for the attacker.

“All three of them dived in, sold themselves and made him look like Lionel Messi.”

Gaffney scored a second after the break to put Rovers ahead again, but Orient dominated possession following that moment.

They just couldn’t create enough clear cut opportunities and Hendon acknowledged they lacked quality in the final third.

He added: “We had a lot of the ball and a lot of set plays in the second half, but the delivery at times wasn’t of the quality we needed and we didn’t test the keeper enough.”

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