Play for no pay works for
ORIENT’S board might want to think about withholding the players’ wages more often after seeing the O’s take another step towards survival.
Boss Fabio Liverani confirmed pre-match reports that the players had not been paid – though he added it was a ‘one-off situation’ due to a technical hitch.
But while the Orient players’ bank accounts were light, their effort was not as they outfought and outplayed woeful Walsall to claim a third win in four games to move within a point of safety.
Liverani, through a translator, said: “I am pleased with the result but I am more pleased with the performance because the result only comes with the performance.
“Offensively and defensively it was one of our best performances. Three wins in four games is great but it is just the start of a route to avoiding relegation which is still long for us.”
On the wages issue, he joked:“In Italy, we get money every four months so a couple of days’ delay is nothing! It was a technical problem, a delay on an international bank transfer.
“I believe it is a one-off situation, it is not a concern, and it is predicted that by Wednesday the staff and players will be paid.”
Orient had the best chances of a poor first half as Jobi McAnuff was foiled one-on-one by a fine save from Richard O’Donnell and Chris Dagnall headed Andrea Dossena’s cross wide from eight yards.
Below-par Walsall were just as bad in the second half but this time Orient punished them with two goals in three minutes around the hour mark.
Dagnall’s dinked ball put Ryan Hedges in to drill home and the roles were reversed soon after as Hedges fed Dagnall to lash into the roof of the net from a tight angle.
That led to chants of ‘you’re getting paid in the morning’ from the joyful visiting fans and Orient should have won by more, substitute Jay Simpson wasting a late chance to make it three.
Walsall looked like a side with one eye on their first-ever Wembley appearance in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final next month and could be sucked into the relegation battle if they are not careful.
Fuming Saddlers boss Dean Smith said:“If they are thinking about Wembley, it will quickly be out of their minds as they won’t be in the team if they play like that.
“It was disappointing to say the least.We got what we deserved.We had too many below-par performances.
“For me, they won the game by winning the second balls today and that’s a side of the game we have to get better at.
“Our aim is to get to 50 points as soon as we can.”
STAR MAN CHRIS DAGNA