Leyton Orient's Paul McCallum: The gaffer Danny Webb has made us believe again
PUBLISHED: 14:02 20 February 2017 | UPDATED: 14:10 20 February 2017
Simon O'Connor Photography
Ex-West Ham United forward scored for O's on Saturday and captained the team despite having a knee injury
Leyton Orient forward Paul McCallum feels new manager Danny Webb has made the Brisbane Road squad believe again and is confident they can still avoid relegation this season.
The 23-year-old scored during Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to Notts County – a result which leaves O’s in the bottom two.
Orient are 23rd and three points behind Hartlepool United and Cheltenham Town, but performances have drastically improved since Webb took over on January 29.
McCallum said: “On the Monday after the Mansfield Town game, the day after the gaffer took over, he sat us all down and gave a speech.
“After that we all went back in the changing room and thought ‘we are going to do this’ and he got everybody on board straight away.
“We were all buzzing to train and that has carried on and the intensity is good and the gaffer believes in us. I think that’s the main thing, so we believe in ourselves again.”
Even after losing a five-goal thriller to Kevin Nolan’s Magpies, there is still hope the O’s can avoid the drop.
Orient face fellow strugglers Cheltenham this weekend before travelling to Stevenage (February 28) and then Newport County (March 4).
Grimsby Town visit Brisbane Road on March 11 before Webb takes his squad up to Accrington Stanley on March 14.
After beating Plymouth Argyle last week, O’s will go into every one of those matches full of belief and hoping to pick up some points.
“There are still 14 games to go and the next four or five are mainly against teams around us in the table,” said McCallum.
“It is important we still believe and we fight for every point that is available, but to lose like we did on Saturday was hard.
“The goal is handball, so the luck hasn’t been with us over the course of the season, but we are still believing and confident we can stay up.”
Several of the Orient squad are also battling injury issues to ensure they get out on the pitch to help the cause.
It was revealed after the defeat to Notts County that McCallum currently has to play through the pain barrier.
The ex-West Ham United forward missed the win at Plymouth because he was still waiting to get some scans back on his knee.
Although the prognosis isn’t great, McCallum is more than happy to keep turning out to help Webb and the club.
He added: “The scans revealed my injury is bad, but it is not as bad as last year, so I’m playing with a few ligaments that aren’t attached.
“But I can play through that and I feel like I can still contribute goals and help us move out of the relegation battle.”
With no Nicky Hunt or Liam Kelly on Saturday, McCallum was handed the captains armband by O’s manager Webb.
The pair had a chat beforehand and the striker relished the opportunity to lead Orient against the Magpies.
McCallum said: “The gaffer and I had a chat before (about the captaincy) and I’d love to be skipper. Out on the pitch I feel I can lead us and it settles me down a bit. I can’t get silly bookings because I have to lead by example, so it felt good.”