Play for no pay works for

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Michael Beard­more

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.”


LL Ley­ton


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