Orient boss wants to avoid the January sales

It’s a vital month for the O’s both on and off the field

January will prove to be a pivotal month for Orient both on and off the field.

After a dreadful start to the season, Russell Slade’s side have taken 29 points from the last 15 games and have moved from the foot of the table into 15th place.

The travel to Carlisle United on Saturday just seven points off the play-off places.

During the month O’s meet three of the sides they need to overhaul to gate-crash the top six as they travel to Brunton Park and then Preston, before playing Colchester at home.

However, while O’s must keep piling up the points in the short term, their long-term hopes of success will be boosted if two of their star performers – skipper Stephen Dawson and winger Dean Cox – commit themselves to the club and sign new deals.

The pair are both hugely influential, but their contracts are up in the summer.

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The Orient boss hopes to make additions to the squad during the January transfer window, but will be delighted if the duo, along with young winger George Porter, pen new deals.

“I want to try and do a little bit of business,” admitted Slade.

The O’s have signed MK Dons defender Adam Chicksen on a month’s loan, but that is just a stop-gap measure following the departure of Charlie Daniels to Bournemouth.

“We have tried to solve the left back situation in the short term and we need to solve it in the long term too,” said Slade.

“I still think we need to strengthen with a utility player.

“Tommy Clarke came in during the first part of the season and if it’s not Tommy, someone else has to come in to plug a few gaps for us. But I’m really happy with my squad.”

And if Dawson and Cox decide to stay, Slade would be even happier!

Cox turned down a summer move to Peterborough and Dawson has caught the eye of several Championship sides.

“There is going to be interest in a player like Dawson. He’s a great captain and a big influence,” said Slade.

“I want them to stay, but the lure of playing at a higher level is there for all,” he admitted.

“We will wait and deal with those offers, if they come along, but we will be delighted if the likes of ‘Daws’ and ‘Coxie’ sign.”

However, if the pair refuse new deals and a genuine offer comes in, the club are likely to cash in as the duo could walk away as free agents in the summer.