Orient may pitch in youngsters against Stags

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Leyton Orient caretaker manager Andy Hessenthaler is hoping to give some of the club’s youth a run-out against Mansfield Town tomorrow – provided club president Francesco Becchetti allows it.

Hessenthaler is currently picking the first team in conjunction with his president and said: “I’m sure we will be giving the youngsters an opportunity in these final two matches, but again that is a conversation that needs to be had with the coaching staff and the owner.

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“We’ll pick a team accordingly for the last two games and see the season out, which has obviously turned out to be a very disappointing one.

“Andy Edwards and Danny Webb and Richard Thomas have done a fantastic job with the youth to produce what they’re producing right now.

“There is a good crop of players coming through, they’ve won their league as well and the only bright thing to come out of this season probably.

“Again we will sit down and decide what team to pick. We certainly wouldn’t put loads of them in, but it is worth two or three of the youngsters getting an opportunity to show what they can do at senior level.”

After last week’s defeat against AFC Wimbledon, he admitted: “The committee (Becchetti and coaching staff) was involved in the team selection.

“The final say was all of us, the coaching staff and the owner so we did it together.”

With player-manager Kevin Nolan demoted to being just a player and results turning against them, like Mansfield, last weekend’s result confirmed the O’s would not be in the play-offs.

“I don’t know where it’s gone wrong,” said Hessenthlaer.

“A lot of things have happened in the last few weeks, we’ve lost a manager and haven’t got one now.

“We have an interim so that hasn’t helped the situation. We are not making excuses because we’ve played 44 games and we’re in the bottom half of the table – that’s not good enough.

“It is very frustrating and not acceptable from all of us. We are all a big family in terms of the group like the coaching staff and players and we haven’t produced.

“I’m not going to hide behind anything, I’m actually devastated about it for the fans because they deserve more. We should have, at a minimum, been in the play-offs.

“It is difficult to answer why things were so flat over Easter. We lost our way and our confidence, but again it is not through a lack of effort, but a lack of quality.”

With Nolan’s demotion coming at the same time as he said he was injured, there is much speculation over whether he will line up against the Stags

Hessenthaler said: “We don’t know about Kevin’s ankle injury, he didn’t need a scan in the end which is positive.

“Hopefully with a little bit of work, he may be available for the last two games.

“Jay (top scorer Simpson) has had a bad back, he got a back spasm after the midweek game and struggled to get over it. He should be okay for Saturday, but there was no chance last weekend.”

On the club’s and his own future, he concluded: “There are no plans for next season. It is odd we haven’t discussed it, but we wouldn’t talk about it.

“I don’t know any more than you guys, the media, in terms of what is happening next year because I’ve not been told anything.

“We may well now because the play-offs are over, there might be a conversation now over the next few days.

“The dressing room is flat and it has been a testing time. I has been a tough time for me personally over the last few weeks, but we need to keep working hard and wait for the decision from above and go from there.”

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