Big decisions ahead for Slade as O’s have to rebuild
Just 11 players have contracts that run into next season
Orient bring the curtain down on a disappointing season when Rochdale visit the Matchroom on Saturday.
Given the club’s depressing run of form, having taken just a solitary point from the last seven games, it’s fortunate that last weekend’s results ensured the side of safety.
Given their fragile confidence there’s no reason to believe Saturday’s game against basement-boys Rochdale would have been an automatic three-pointer.
O’s have won just five times at The Matchroom this season and if they fail to beat ’Dale it will be their worst display at home since 1976-77, when they managed only four victories.
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Orient boss Russell Slade admits he will be glad to see the back of the current campaign and insists things will improve next term.
“It’s been a really tough season from start to finish. Probably the toughest I’ve had for a lot of reasons,” he said. “We will review the season and that will start almost immediately.
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“We’ll sit down, we won’t leave anything to chance, we’ll turn over every stone and we’ll look to improve and build.
“Whatever player we’ve got at the football club at this moment in time, we’re going to sit down and go through absolutely everything.”
Certainly Slade has lots of work to do as just 11 of the current squad have contracts that run into next season and that includes youngster Billy Lobjoit, who has been offered a one-year professional contract after completing his scholarship.
While first-team regulars Matt Spring and Terrell Forbes are both out of contract in the summer.
There are important positions to be filled. The club have not had a regular left-back following the sale of Charlie Daniels and it’s a position where 10 different players have been used this season.
The manager also has to replace skipper Stephen Dawson, whose midfield drive has been sorely missed since he was sold to Barnsley. While Alex Revell and Elliot Omozusi, first-team regulars at the start of the season, are no-longer at the club.
“As normal, at the end of the season, there’ll be a lot of players available, so we need to look at that element as well,” said Slade.
“What we can bring into the club, what we can’t. What budget we have got, there’s so many questions we’ve got to answer.”
And Slade wants to get down to business: “We want to answer them quickly, but we’ll take our time so we don’t make any mistakes and we have a clear view, so we can start again in a positive manner.”
With several loan players in the squad and others who have rarely featured, there is bound to be a big exodus after Saturday, and Slade has some big decisions to make as O’s must rebuild again.