Michael Collins hails the impact of new Leyton Orient boss Danny Webb despite defeats
17:00 08 February 2017
Simon O'Connor Photography
The experienced midfielder insists the O’s can still get out of trouble and will use people writing them off as motivation
Michael Collins insists Leyton Orient boss Danny Webb could easily have started his managerial career with two wins instead of two narrow defeats, but has praised the impact of the new man in charge.
The O’s started February with a 2-1 loss at home to Carlisle United on Saturday and a 1-0 reverse, also at Brisbane Road, to Morecambe yesterday.
Both results mean Orient remain in the relegation zone and without a point in 2017, but Webb, despite only taking over on January 29, has got the east Londoners playing positively again and instilled more belief.
“When you are down the bottom sometimes it is quite easy to lift the pressure off the players by maybe going direct, but I think we may have overdone that, so the new gaffer has said regardless of where we are, don’t forget we are good players,” said Collins.
“He’s given us a bit more freedom and I thought against Morecambe we played out from the back really well and produced some good football.
“We carved them open at times and there was a chance when the ball was fired across goal where Victor Adeboyejo was so close to getting a touch on it, and if that had gone in it is a different game.
“It didn’t happen, but the gaffer has certainly given us a bit more freedom and he’s very good at lifting players on an individual basis. He goes around, has one-on-one chats.
“I’m bitterly disappointed for him because he easily could have two wins under his belt, but the nature of football means he has two losses, although everybody is right behind him and we’re sticking together.”
Orient are in desperate need of results right now, but Webb has very quickly brought the players and fans together with Brisbane Road a cauldron of noise at times during the Carlisle and Morecambe games.
The attacking football produced by O’s on Tuesday was outstanding and they so desperately deserved for somebody to apply the crucial finishing touch.
Webb included five players aged 20 or below in the starting XI against Morecambe and they have all performed admirably this past week.
Collins added: “If there is ever a baptism of fire for young players to come into, then this environment is certainly it and from the outside, and I don’t mean the fans, we have been written off by everybody.
“The bookies stopped taking bets at one point I believe, so that is fuel for us and the youngsters have kept going and not hidden, which is testament to them and the club for producing lads with that sort of integrity and character.
“All we can do as senior professionals is try and help them through it because it is a difficult time when you are losing games, but credit to everybody involved because nobody is shirking the challenge, we are all coming in and trying our best to put it right.”
With Orient facing such a difficult fight to remain a Football League club, you have to wonder why Collins agreed to stay at Brisbane Road.
The ex-Scunthorpe United captain had offers elsewhere, but having joined towards the end of October, he agreed to extend his time at O’s until the summer on January 27.
“For me personally, there was nothing to worry about regarding my contract and I had made it clear I wanted to be a part of the challenge,” said Collins.
“Although there were one or two other things which crept up, I have been at the club for a while and over the last three or four years I’ve moved around a little bit.
“I’ve been to India and things like that, but I wanted to stay here and help because it is a great club. The disappointing thing is this is potentially a superb club and it is just going through a hard time.
“But as players all we can concentrate on is playing on the pitch. Credit to a man against Morecambe we have done that, but it is just a bitterly disappointing result.”
After a sixth consecutive defeat it is hard to be positive, but there are signs of life and 17 games left for Orient to save their season.