Crawley Town’s Dean Cox hoping Leyton Orient can avoid relegation to National League
PUBLISHED: 12:00 24 March 2017
Simon O'Connor Photography
29-year-old insists Orient squad believe they can still survive and backs Danny Webb and Omer Riza to be in charge of Brisbane Road club next season
Dean Cox admits it would be horrible to see Leyton Orient go down, but insists all of the squad at Brisbane Road still believe they can beat the drop.
The Crawley Town winger is set to face the O’s for the first time since leaving the club on September 1 tomorrow (Saturday).
While Cox will be looking to inflict more pain on Orient this weekend, he is keeping everything crossed that they can complete a great escape.
He said: “It is going to be a tough ask for them to stay up and I would never want to see them go down at any cost, but it is not looking good.
“It is not a good position at the moment, but mathematically it can still be done and speaking to Paul McCallum – all the lads are up for the fight.
“Paul is hoping to be fit as soon as possible to come back and score some goals which will keep the club in the division hopefully.
“It is going to be a tall order there is no two ways about that, but they are trying their best and Webby (Danny Webb) and Omer (Riza) have gone in and it sounds like the atmosphere is as good as it can be.
“Speaking to Paul again it sounds like nobody is really down and they are keeping spirits up and the players are just trying as much as they can to get as many points as they can.”
If McCallum can return over the next couple of weeks then it will hand Orient a major boost, but time is running out.
The east Londoners are seven points from safety with only eight games to, yet Webb has made his mark at Brisbane Road.
O’s current manager only has a contract until the end of the season, but Cox has been impressed with the 33-year-old.
“I have only got admiration for Danny. The off the field stuff was quite bad when I was there and it’s sometimes very difficult to palm that to one side and concentrate on the job at hand because there are so many things going on,” said the Crawley winger.
“Leading up to the Doncaster game nobody was sure if you were going to have a club the following week. I have nothing but admiration for him and I have listened to some of his interviews and he is trying to remain upbeat obviously because they are in a difficult situation and that’s all he can do.
“To be fair I thought they played really well in the first half against Doncaster and it was a great goal from ‘Parkesy’ (Tom Parkes) to get them back into it.
“In the second half Doncaster came back a bit stronger, but they are the league leaders and will go on and win it, so it is no disgrace to lose to them.
“The players just need to keep going and Omer and ‘Webby’ have done a sterling job for me and whatever happens at the end of the season I hope them two still remain at the club.
“If the club is bought then I hope they are at the head of trying to get Orient back into the Football League - if they go down that is - and if they stay up, then they have both done a fantastic job to avoid relegation.”
Red Devils ace Cox believes O’s bringing in another new manager will only mean more of a rebuilding job during the summer.
The 29-year-old feels Webb and Riza are the perfect duo to get the best out of the talented crop of youngsters at Orient.
Myles Judd, Josh Koroma and Sam Dalby plus O’s several other academy talents are all likely to be better players after this experience.
Cox added: “I think Danny should stay in charge because if those youngsters are going to be there next year then who is going to be better to help them develop even more and go on again?
“If you bring in a new person then it is another big rebuilding process and Danny has the relationship with the players and they know each other and that is half of the battle sometimes.
“Obviously if he does get the job then he will want to bring some other players in to help the youngsters, which anybody would want to do, but to kick on, I think keeping Danny and Omer at the helm and giving them a crack is the way to go.”
Dean Cox was speaking on behalf of the John Hartson Foundation, which aims to increase awareness of testicular cancer and raise funds to support those whose lives are affected by cancer. If you would like to donate you can do so through their website https://www.johnhartsonfoundation.co.uk/.