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Jay Simpson made himself unavailable to play at Grimsby Town due to injury admits Leyton Orient assistant manager Andy Edwards

PUBLISHED: 19:15 20 August 2016

Leyton Orient assistant manager Andy Edwards on the touchline (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient assistant manager Andy Edwards on the touchline (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

East Londoners number two reflects on victory at Blundell Park and absence of Jay Simpson and Paul McCallum

Leyton Orient assistant manager Andy Edwards revealed Jay Simpson made himself unavailable for the League Two clash with Grimsby Town on the morning of the game.

The forward, who scored 25 goals last season, has been heavily linked with a switch to Southend United this summer.

After being “unavailable” for the first three matches of the campaign in all competitions, the ex-Arsenal youngster returned to the starting XI against Stevenage on Tuesday night.

But Simpson missed the 2-1 victory at Grimsby with goals from Liam Kelly and Ollie Palmer earning Andy Hessenthaler’s team the win.

“Jay made himself unavailable the morning of the game with a back problem so he wasn’t in contention,” said Edwards.

“Paul McCallum wasn’t in the squad. You’ll have to ask the manager why he wasn’t in the squad.

“We can obviously only bring a squad of players and we’ve got real competition for places and some decent attacking players.

“It was a difficult decision for the manager to pick the team, the squad and the subs, but that is what he’s paid to do and it was the right selection today.”

Edwards continued: “Jay took himself out of the selection process this morning due to a back injury he suffered on Tuesday night. Any conjecture about him moving, I know nothing about that.”

Orient were under pressure for much of the first half, but managed to hold strong against the Mariners.

Grimsby would have been kicking themselves for failing to take the opportunities they created.

And the hosts made two poor mistakes after the break, which allowed Kelly and Palmer to score their first goals of the season.

Edwards added: “We were under the cosh for the first period and we defended the last line of defence very well.

“I thought Alex Cisak was called into action, but did his job magnificently and we knew we needed to improve in the second half and I thought we did that.

“We defended better and we knew with the attacking force we’ve got that chances would come.”

They did and Orient took them to move up to fourth in the table.

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