Orient boss Slade hopeful that Smith and Jones will stay

Manager is more optimistic as players are set to make their mind up

Orient boss Russell Slade is hoping that the club’s two out-of-contract players – goalkeeper Jamie Jones and midfielder Jimmy Smith – will sign new deals.

The O’s boss believed that Jones, the 22-year-old former Everton goalkeeper, had accepted a new contract in principle, but then things appeared to have stalled.

But Slade, who has been linked with the manager’s job at Barnsley, explained: “Jamie has gone on holiday and while he is away he will be thinking things over. But we are hopeful that he will be staying with us when he comes back.”

Jones has been linked with several clubs since the end of the season, including Celtic, West Ham, Leicester City and Sheffield United, but some of the speculation would seem to be wide of the mark.

The manager also believes that Smith, who established himself as a key man in midfield last season, may also stay.

“I’m more hopeful on that one than I was at this time last week,” admitted Slade.

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“It’s not out of the question that both will end up signing for us.”