Leyton Orient boss Andy Edwards hails spirit of team after draw with Cambridge United

PUBLISHED: 15:53 31 December 2016 | UPDATED: 15:53 31 December 2016

Leyton Orient manager Andy Edwards celebrates at full time by hugging kitman Ada Martin (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient manager Andy Edwards celebrates at full time by hugging kitman Ada Martin (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

Brisbane Road manager reveals Jay Simpson wasn't involved in squad because he has asked to leave the club

Leyton Orient manager Andy Edwards praised the spirit of his squad after scoring a stoppage time equaliser to draw with Cambridge United.

Harrison Dunk put the visitors ahead in the first half, but Ollie Palmer’s deflected strike handed O’s a point at Brisbane Road.

It means Orient haven’t lost at home since November 22 and appear to be building some momentum.

Edwards said: “We said it was a big game and I think the spirit over the last four games has been excellent.

“We have to carry that on. There are very small margins in this division and I think we can compete with anyone.

“If we had lost the game I wouldn’t have been too disappointed with the performances, but we got the equaliser and I thought we deserved it.

“We maybe had the better of the chances and certainly had more corners, but it just seemed we had a bit more.

“When you are playing a team doing so well with vocal support behind them we knew they’d be a tough nut to crack. Fortunately right at the last minute we got the breakthrough.”

The talk before the game was on the future of Jay Simpson with the striker left out of the match day squad.

Orient’s manager confirmed after the 1-1 draw that the former Arsenal forward wants a transfer with only six months of his contract remaining.

“Jay has asked to leave the club so I thought it was best we didn’t include him for the match. That is all I will say on that one,” said Edwards.

With no Simpson in the squad, Palmer was introduced just after half time when Sam Dalby suffered an injury.

And in the fourth minute of stoppage time, the ex-Mansfield Town striker took the roof off of Brisbane Road.

Edwards added: “I’m very pleased for Ollie. He is a good professional with a great attitude and is a good player. He was disappointed not to be starting so to come on and get the equaliser is great for him.”

Once again O’s president Francesco Becchetti was present at Brisbane Road, though he did see the match.

The Italian hasn’t been spotted at any Orient fixture this month and some have suggested he is losing interest in the League Two club.

But Edwards said: “He watches the games live – they get streamed to his house so I’m sure he’ll have an opinion and some views on it.

“He cares passionately about the club and has invested a lot of money and like all of us has found it difficult. He has got stick from some quarters and at the moment prefers to watch from the comfort of his living room.”

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