Leyton Orient manager Andy Hessenthaler hails Paul McCallum and Dean Cox after Fulham defeat in English Football League Cup
PUBLISHED: 10:00 10 August 2016
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Pair missed most of last season with cruciate knee ligament damage, but nearly inspired sensational comeback for east Londoners
Leyton Orient boss Andy Hessenthaler hailed the impact of Paul McCallum and Dean Cox after last night’s 3-2 defeat to Fulham in the first round of the English Football League Cup.
The Championship outfit found themselves three goals to the good inside an hour at Brisbane Road.
A brace from Cauley Woodrow and Dennis Adeniran’s first half header put the Whites in control.
McCallum and Cox were introduced in the 62nd minute and combined twice for the former to net a brace.
It wasn’t enough to force extra-time, but left the O’s manager delighted with both players looking back to their best after suffering cruciate knee ligament damage last season.
“When you put your subs on you want them to show me, the manager, why they should be in the team,” said Hessenthaler.
“They certainly both did that and it is great they’ve come on and made the impact they have.
“It wasn’t easy coming on, we put them on when we’re three goals down, but for them to do what they did was great.
“You have the ball from the corner and Paul does what he does, he’s great in the air and scores. I mean the second goal, the cross is Premier League class – it is different class the ball in and Paul’s got on the end of it.
“That gave us momentum in the game and all of a sudden it was all in Fulham’s half wasn’t it? We just wanted one to drop for us again and we could have taken it to extra time, but credit to the boys.”
Although it was McCallum and Cox who stole the headlines, Hessenthaler did feel the whole team performed well against Fulham.
The west Londoners enjoyed lots of possession during the first-half, but didn’t test Sam Sargeant too much.
Aron Pollock lost Adeniran in the 29th minute and the debutant powered his header into the net following a corner.
Hessenthaler added: “It was hard work out there for the starting XI because they were playing against a Championship side.
“It wasn’t that long ago they were playing in the Premier League so we knew we would have to do a bit of chasing.
“But in the first half we had the better chances and Sargeant didn’t have a shot to save and they’ve scored from a set play.
“We had the better opportunities and if we had been a little bit more clinical and had a little bit more quality in the last third, we may have gone in at half time in front.”
Once again Jay Simpson wasn’t included in the match day squad, although did watch the game at Brisbane Road.
The O’s manager again reiterated last season’s top goalscorer isn’t available with Southend United interested in signing the ex-Arsenal striker.
“Jay is still our player isn’t he and is under contract with the football club. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. At this present time, he is not available for selection,” said Hessenthaler.
Without Simpson, Orient delivered an excellent fight back against Fulham to inspire hope ahead of the new campaign.
The target, as it was last year is promotion back to League One, and Hessenthaler believes the O’s fans will play a big part.
He added: “The fans always get behind us and they just want what everybody wants and that is to get out of this league.
“We’re all striving to do that and we need to all pull together and work together, it is not about one person, it is about everybody.
“It is about the squad, the club, the fans and everyone and if we keep pulling together, hopefully we succeed.”