Michael Collins couldn’t fault any of Leyton Orient’s managers last season

PUBLISHED: 15:00 25 May 2017

Leyton Orient midfielder Michael Collins shows his disappointment at the full time whistle (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient midfielder Michael Collins shows his disappointment at the full time whistle (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

Midfielder believes O’s ran out of quality at crucial times during the 2016/17 campaign

Leyton Orient manager Omer Riza issues instructions from the Gallery (pic: Simon O'Connor).Leyton Orient manager Omer Riza issues instructions from the Gallery (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Michael Collins believes every Leyton Orient boss he played under worked admirably, but felt the team crucially lacked quality and experience at key times of the 2016/17 League Two season.

The O’s finished rock bottom of the table and were relegated to the National League after an extremely difficult campaign for the Brisbane Road outfit, which saw them win just 10 times in 46 games.

Collins only joined the club at the end of October, but worked under four different managers in Alberto Cavasin, Andy Edwards, Danny Webb and Omer Riza.

And although the former Huddersfield Town midfielder felt each did their best, quite a lot of outside factors made life tough for all of them at Orient.

“It is never easy for a group of players to go through so many different managers because you need consistency and every one had a slightly different way of doing things and different way of playing,” said Collins.

“We all have an idea of how we want the game played and what we expect from players, so that didn’t help, but in defence of all four, I felt they held themselves respectfully and admirably in difficult circumstances.

“They did the best they could, but one or two things got too much and it was one of those seasons where we just ran out of time and ran out of quality at the right time because that is the most important thing.

“When you are in a relegation battle you need the right sort of players and experience just to manoeuvre your way through it, like at Newport County.

“They just seemed to click and get it right at the right time and unfortunately we weren’t able to do that.”

Collins was one of O’s better performers during a poor season and earned praise from fans by playing through pain when the squad hadn’t been paid their wages for March on time.

The players and staff at Orient had to deal with a lot, with a winding-up petition also causing worry, but it brought everyone closer together, which made the end result all the more difficult to accept.

“Relegation, regardless of the circumstances, is never easy to take or nice,” admitted the 31-year-old.

“What also made it really difficult is that as a group of players, given everything that had happened over the course of the season, we finished up as a tight-knit group, so it was doubly disappointing to have relegation confirmed.

“At the start of the season nobody thinks they will be one of the teams that go down and there are always two that do out of League Two and and unfortunately we were one of them.”

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