Two sign as Orient plan for the future
ORIENT duo Andrew Cave-Brown and Loick Pires have both agreed to sign new contracts, writes TREVOR DAVIES. Defender Cave-Brown, who made 10 league starts for the O s following his arrival from Norwich last summer and winger Pires, who made six appearances
ORIENT duo Andrew Cave-Brown and Loick Pires have both agreed to sign new contracts, writes TREVOR DAVIES.
Defender Cave-Brown, who made 10 league starts for the O's following his arrival from Norwich last summer and winger Pires, who made six appearances from the bench, will be staying, but midfielder Sean Thornton and striker Scott McGleish have yet to make a decision on their futures after being offered new deals.
But boss Geraint Williams still faces a hectic summer as he looks to strengthen the squad, as even with Cave-Brown and Pires signing, he still only has 13 players under contract.
Williams said: "Its great news that Loick and Andrew have signed, and they will be looking to push on next season and stake a claim in the team, but we are still waiting to see what Sean and Scott are going to do."
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After releasing Brian Saah and Alton Thelwell and with Jordan Spence returning to West Ham, the O's are short of numbers at the back and Williams acknowledged: "It's an area where we are light at the moment.
"I felt that things needed freshening up at the back, but I will be looking at all departments, as I want us to be better in all areas next season.
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"We also had two strikers in on loan last season, so we are a little light in that area too," he admitted.
One option for Williams is to operate with a small squad, but supplement it with loan players: "We had 28 players at the end of last season, which is too many for a club like Orient," he said.
"I have got a number in mind for next season and I need to bring in some senior pros, but it's important to get the balance right.
"The senior pros need to be playing, if they are not involved and become disenchanted, it can affect the closeness of the squad. It's all about getting the right mix and then you look at the likes of Pires and Cave-Brown to push on."
Williams will be keen to land his permanent signings as soon as possible. "We have identified some targets, and will be looking to see who else is available.
"I like to finalise things as quickly as I can, but if you are looking to sign players who have been released, there are always lots of twists and turns along the way, as players and their agents often wait as long as they can to see if there is a better deal out there."
The O's boss is keen to make good use of the loan market again and would be delighted to bring back striker Simon Church, who made such an impression after joining on loan from Reading last term and played for the Royals in Tuesday night's play-off clash with Burnley.
"I would love to keep him, but he is a Reading player," he said. "We gave him an opportunity last season and he took it with both hands. But, at this stage, it's difficult to know what players will be available for loans next season.
"Most teams don't really know who they will let out until after they have finished pre-season. But, bringing people in on loan, is something we will be looking to do."
"I want to improve the squad and bring in the best players I can on the budget we have got."
Players that the O's have been linked with this week include Dean Bowditch, a 22-year-old striker who spent a loan spell at Brentford last season and has been released by Ipswich, and 30-year-old Colchester United defender Chris Coyne.