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Michael Collins: Points are the priority for Leyton Orient right now over style of football

PUBLISHED: 14:00 30 December 2016

Michael Collins in action for Leyton Orient earlier this season (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Michael Collins in action for Leyton Orient earlier this season (pic: Simon O'Connor).

07958 573219 simon.oconnor@virgin.net

Former Oxford United midfielder looks ahead to New Years Eve clash with Cambridge United and discusses life under Andy Edwards

Michael Collins believes Leyton Orient manager Andy Edwards has implemented a no excuses mindset into the League Two squad after taking over on November 23.

The 30-year-old made his first appearance in 16 days for O’s during their 3-2 win over Crawley Town on Boxing Day.

Orient’s victory continued their improvement under Edwards moving them three points away from the bottom two and up to 19th as a result.

“I think everybody knows their role. There are no excuses now and everyone going out onto the pitch knows what is expected,” said Collins.

“We are realistic at this stage of the season, given the position we’re in, that we’re not going to come out and play Barcelona style football.

“We’d love to and the manager would – he has said that - but the priority is to get points on the board as fast as possible.

“Sometimes there are different ways of doing it and on Monday we’ve come away with all three points so it is job done.”

The Boxing Day encounter at Brisbane Road was a classic game of two halves with O’s dominating the first 45 and being pegged back after the break.

Sam Dalby opened the scoring for Orient after four minutes with his first professional goal before Paul McCallum made it 2-0 in the 11th minute.

Collins played his part in the second before Gavin Massey won a penalty on the stroke of half time, which McCallum converted.

It was a different story after the break, though, with Teddy Mezague slicing past Alex Cisak and Enzio Boldewijn making it 3-2 with 12 minutes remaining.

Edwards’ team held strong in the final exchanges of the topsy-turvy encounter to claim all three points.

After the match there was some suggestion the 1pm kick-off might have played a part in Crawley’s slow start.

Collins conceded it was strange preparing for the match, adding: “Even at 30 I still didn’t know what to eat on Monday morning because I weren’t quite ready for a meal, but I had to have more than breakfast.

“Whatever we all did obviously worked so it is just one of those things you have to deal with as a footballer.

“You have early kick-offs and down at this level we are not used to it, but higher up they have plenty.

“We applied ourselves spot-on against Crawley and even though we made it horrible for the fans for the last 15 to 20 minutes that is the nature of the game sometimes.”

Orient will have another early start this weekend with their New Years Eve clash at home to Cambridge United starting at 1pm too.

After back-to-back wins at Brisbane Road, there is a new sense of optimism building in the squad.

“The most important thing on Monday was getting the three points so we can go into the Cambridge game with confidence,” said Collins.

“We need to start putting in more performances together at home and start climbing up that table.

“After the Crawley game we made a point of saying ‘it was a good result, but it means nothing if we don’t back it up against Cambridge’ because that’s been the story of our season.

“We know what is expected and we’ll be ready and flying again on New Years Eve.”

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