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Dean Cox: Champneys break did Orient the world of good

Cox finds the back of the net from distance against Gillingham from distance. Pic by Simon O'Connor Cox finds the back of the net from distance against Gillingham from distance. Pic by Simon O'Connor

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
7:00 AM

Orient’s Dean Cox claims a squad relaxation break to Champneys health spa has done the players the world of good.

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The O’s got their promotion charge back on track with a scintillating 5-1 thrashing of Gillingham on Saturday and they will be looking to keep up their form when they visit Crawley Town on Good Friday.

Manager Russell Slade took his players away after the defeat to Bradford at the end of last month and Saturday’s win followed a run of only one victory in seven games.

Cox is adamant it did the players the world of good as the season reaches its climax. He said: “The manager’s pulled a rabbit out of the hat with the trip to Champneys!

“The chairman has allowed us to go away and pay for us, so we’re grateful for that and it’s definitely helped us.

“A lot of us have played 40-plus games this season. It’s been a long season, but we wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Brentford’s defeat at Swindon gave Orient a glimmer of hope in the race for automatic promotion from League One.

The gap is seven points with four games to go and the Bees face a tricky game against promotion candidates Preston North End on Good Friday.

Despite practically writing off the O’s automatic promotion chances two weeks ago, Cox is hoping Brentford slip up again as he looked ahead to a busy Easter programme of games.

“Brentford losing makes it a little bit interesting,” he said. “Hopefully there will be a little bit of squeaky bum time for our rivals.

“There’s still half a chance, you never say never in this game. If it’s going to be the play-offs we want to keep this momentum going.

“The Easter period is very important. It’s not a very good pitch down at Crawley, but we’ll go there looking for three points then Wolves come to us on Easter Monday.

“They’re already promoted so maybe they’ll go easy on us, but it will be another big game in front of a full house.”

Cox scored his 14th goal of an incredibly productive season against the Gills on Saturday.

It was one of four goals scored in a breathtaking opening 35 minutes and he felt Orient were “unplayable at times” as they put Gillingham to the sword with a scintillating first half performance at Brisbane Road.

“We were frightening, clinical and ruthless,” said Cox. “We moved the ball, got it wide and put crosses into the box. It was a complete performance.

“We were unplayable at times and 4-0 at half time didn’t really flatter us. They couldn’t cope with us in the first 45 minutes. If we continue playing like that we’ll have a good chance come the end of the season.”

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