Michael Collins 'close' to signing contract extension at Leyton Orient reveals boss Andy Edwards
PUBLISHED: 11:00 24 January 2017
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The Orient manager discusses importance of the senior players, Saturdays postponement and surviving relegation this season
Leyton Orient boss Andy Edwards has revealed Michael Collins appears close to signing a contract extension at the League Two club.
The O’s bid farewell to Jordan Bowery and Alan Dunne last week with the former going on loan to Crewe Alexandra and the ex-Millwall captain leaving by mutual consent.
Many expected Collins to make his last appearance for Orient this weekend away to Mansfield Town, but that may now not be the case.
And the Brisbane Road manager also insisted they have enough in the current squad to avoid relegation this season.
“I believe a deal to extend Michael’s contract is very close to being done, that is what I’ve been told,” said Edwards.
“Fingers crossed it gets over the line because he’s a very important player and a great character to have right now.
“He is really good to have alongside the younger players and a lot has been spoken about them, but the senior members are the ones who will lead us away from the bottom and guide the youngsters.
“The experienced players have a really important part to play and we are good enough, as it stands, to stay in this division.”
A statement on behalf of O’s chief executive Alessandro Angelieri, released on Friday, highlighted the importance of Orient’s academy players.
While the east Londoners have a number of talented teenagers on their books, they can’t beat the drop on their own.
“This is a massive ask for the young players and as I’ve said before, they all have a part to play individually, but collectively it is too big a job,” said Edwards.
“It’s very important we keep everybody in the squad fit and hopefully we don’t have any more departures now.”
Last Tuesday it was revealed Alex Cisak, Callum Kennedy, Tom Parkes and Bowery had been transfer listed.
Bowery has since linked up with league rivals Crewe on loan, but Edwards revealed the other three players are still available for selection.
He added: “I can select Alex, Tom and Callum. All of them were in the squad for Saturdays match against Morecambe. I’m picking the team and taking training.”
Edwards also discussed how frustrating it was to see last weekend’s game at home to the Shrimps postponed due to a frozen pitch.
Although it was the correct decision by referee Lee Collins, the Orient boss was really looking forward to the six-pointer.
“We were gutted about Saturday. Seven of the last nine games we have played have been against top 10 sides, but we really fancied our chances against Morecambe,” said Edwards.
“They had a couple of people suspended (Andrew Fleming and Dean Winnard) and we had trained really well, so it was disappointing.
“It was a bit of a late call, but it was the right decision and it means they’ll have to come back to us later in the season.
“Fortunately most of the results went out way on Saturday, but it is about us now and we need to start picking up results.”