Paul McCallum speaks regularly with Dean Cox, but believes Leyton Orient squad is ‘still strong enough’ to achieve season goal

PUBLISHED: 16:00 12 September 2016

Paul McCallum is congratulated after finding the net at Carlisle United (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Paul McCallum is congratulated after finding the net at Carlisle United (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

Ex-Dulwich Hamlet ace reflects on Cox’s departure and his encouraging partnership with Jordan Bowery after Saturday’s draw at Carlisle United

Paul McCallum has admitted he is on the phone to Dean Cox nearly every day, but believes the current Leyton Orient squad is still good enough to achieve what the club has set out to do this year.

The former O’s winger is on the verge of signing for League Two rivals Crawley Town, although the switch is yet to be officially confirmed.

Cox is unable to play for the Red Devils until January, however, after leaving the east Londoners on September 1.

McCallum struck up a close bond with the 29-year-old last season as both went through rehab together after suffering cruciate knee ligament damage.

And while the ex-West Ham United forward is sad to see Cox leave, he is confident about the squad Andy Hessenthaler has put together this summer.

“Me and him were together for the majority of last season, both doing the rehab for the same injury,” said McCallum.

“I’m still on the phone to him nearly every day and we’re talking so it is sad to see him go.

“But we’ve got to focus on what we’ve got here now and I believe we’re still strong enough to do what we want to this year.”

That has certainly been demonstrated in O’s last two matches as they’ve claimed a total of four points from long trips to Morecambe and Carlisle United.

McCallum didn’t get on the scoresheet at Globe Arena, but did find the net on Saturday after a fine finish.

His goal occurred after a neat pass by strike partner Jordan Bowery and the pair enjoy playing with each other.

“It is about time Jordan set me up. I’ve slipped him through quite a lot recently in the last two games,” joked McCallum.

“I’ve slipped him through early on in the first half and his touch was a bit baggy, but he’s repaid me with the goal. Obviously I’ve luckily, well not luckily, but skilfully scored.”

Bowery and McCallum have started the last three matches together and O’s have picked up two wins and one draw plus scored eight times.

The duo have combined nicely on several occasions and as stated last week, look to compliment each other well.

“Jordan does the side of the game that I don’t like to do and I do the side that he doesn’t like,” explained McCallum.

“I’ll fight and hold the ball up, win the headers and he’ll run down the channels and it works perfect as you can see because he scored last week and I’ve done it this time so as long as we keep playing together, I think there is a lot of goals to come.”

McCallum and Bowery have scored four times between them in the past three games to improve O’s form after a 2-1 loss to Mansfield Town on August 27.

Everything is a lot more positive at Brisbane Road now and Orient’s current first choice strikers deserve a lot of credit for getting the team on a decent three match unbeaten run.

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