Clarke: O’s can’t take League Two ‘lightly’

PUBLISHED: 17:30 07 May 2015

Nathan Clarke heads clear for Leyton Orient at Crewe (pic: Simon O'Connor)

Nathan Clarke heads clear for Leyton Orient at Crewe (pic: Simon O'Connor)

Simon O'Connor Photography

Orient skipper wants club to bounce straight back next season following relegation

O's captain Nathan Clarke (pic: Simon O'Connor)O's captain Nathan Clarke (pic: Simon O'Connor)

Leyton Orient captain Nathan Clarke has insisted he will remain with the club despite relegation to League Two and is desperate to get them promoted at the first attempt.

The 31-year-old has one year remaining on his contract at Brisbane Road and speaking after the 2-2 draw with Swindon Town on Sunday, he revealed he wants to stay at the east London club.

Although “gutted” at seeing the side come 23rd in the table, he is positive about next season.

“It is going to be a massively important summer,” said Clarke.

Orient captain Nathan Clarke at full time after the 6-1 defeat to MK Dons (pic: Simon O'Connor).Orient captain Nathan Clarke at full time after the 6-1 defeat to MK Dons (pic: Simon O'Connor).

“We need to get over the disappointment we have got now and look forward to an exciting season and one where we’ll be desperate to bounce straight back up.

“You can’t take League Two lightly because you just look at the teams in the division and there are teams you thought were going to bounce straight back up and they have found it hard.

“We have got to find a way to deal with that and have a successful season next year.”

Clarke, who has made over 100 appearances for O’s since joining in the summer of 2012, has always tried to be positive this campaign despite various upheaval.

Orient's Dean Cox looks dejected at full time after relegation is confirmed (pic: Simon O'Connor).Orient's Dean Cox looks dejected at full time after relegation is confirmed (pic: Simon O'Connor).

It is a commendable attitude to adopt and one that the captain hopes his team-mates will use as inspiration in the 2015/16 season.

“You’ve got to be positive,” he added. “We need to get over the disappointment that we’ve got now because of relegation and we have got to be positive.

“I’ve been upbeat in interviews over the season after defeat and indifferent performances, and I have always tried to be positive and coming from the captain, you want the other lads to try and follow that manner.”

But how many of the current squad will be at Brisbane Road next year remains to be seen.

A total of 12 players, excluding the four loan players Fabio Liverani brought in, are out of contract this summer.

The likes of Chris Dagnall, David Mooney, Kevin Lisbie, Marvin Bartley, Josh Wright, Scott Cuthbert, Elliot Omozusi and many more could leave on a free transfer if they wish.

Sorting out who wants to stay and depart will be key, once Liverani’s future has been decided by president Francesco Becchetti. One thing that will remain is the support of the faithful Orient fans.

Clarke added: “We’ve got to look forward to a brand new season and we want the supporters right behind us again.”

Those fans deserve a lot more next year, but will they get it?

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