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Crawley Town winger Dean Cox doing everything he can to face Leyton Orient this weekend

PUBLISHED: 18:00 23 March 2017 | UPDATED: 18:07 23 March 2017

Dean Cox makes a tackle for Leyton Orient against Mansfield Town, which turned out to be his last appearance for the O's (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Dean Cox makes a tackle for Leyton Orient against Mansfield Town, which turned out to be his last appearance for the O's (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

The fans favourite was back at Brisbane Road last Saturday helping out his old club and has praised the likes of Myles Judd and the other teens at O’s

Leyton Orient fans get behind their team during Saturday's match with Doncaster Rovers (pic: Simon O'Connor). Leyton Orient fans get behind their team during Saturday's match with Doncaster Rovers (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Crawley Town winger Dean Cox will line up against Leyton Orient for the first time since leaving this Saturday and even though he will be looking to beat his old club, he is still doing his best to help out the O’s.

The 29-year-old was back at Brisbane Road last weekend with a thigh injury ruling him out of the Red Devils League Two clash at Grimsby Town.

Cox was handing over a pair of boots to Paul Levy and Steve Nussbaum, of the Orient Outlook Podcast, so they could auction them off to raise some more funds for LOFT’s Regeneration Fund.

And even though the winger is no longer part of the fabric at Brisbane Road, he will always have a huge soft spot for his old club.

“I don’t think the injury will keep me out of Saturday’s game. I am hoping to be fit and trying everything I can to be involved,” said Cox.

“The reason I was at Brisbane Road was because I brought some boots down for the club to auction, so they could raise some money and to see the fans.

“I went into the supporters club to see everyone and have a drink with them and they weren’t in great spirits, but it was nice to see some familiar faces.”

Cox was one of many ex-players looking on with interest on Monday, as O’s made an appearance in the High Court over an unpaid tax bill.

The end result was Orient’s chairman Francesco Becchetti settling his debt with HM Revenue and Customs, but it was revealed the club owe four other creditors.

“Reading between the lines, he has paid the tax bill and let’s hope he is looking to sell now and that will be the best scenario for everyone involved,” said Cox.

“He is not interested in it any more because people are saying he doesn’t go to the games, so hopefully other investors are looking at the club and they can come to some sort of agreement and Leyton Orient can move forward.”

The shock departure of Cox on September 1 was a bitter pill to swallow for O’s fans and for many the final straw.

After the ex-Brighton & Hove Albion winger left by mutual consent, it left limited options out wide and Orient have had to rely on a number of youngsters.

Over the last few months even more teenagers have been chucked in and Cox has been hugely impressed with how they have coped.

The former O’s number seven has no doubt about their quality, but admits they should not be in a situation where they are battling to avoid relegation.

Myles Judd, Michael Clark, Aron Pollock and Josh Koroma all featured on Saturday at home to league leaders Doncaster Rovers.

Cox added: “I have admiration for all of them and I watched them last weekend and I thought ‘Juddy’ was first class. He is going to go on and he will most definitely have a career in the game without a shadow of a doubt.

“Aron made one mistake, but they are kids, so they are going to do that, yet after that he coped with it really well because he could have crumbled and he didn’t.

“Then you have ‘Clarky’ at centre half and he was up against the League Two top goalscorer (John Marquis), so by no means was it a disgrace to lose to Doncaster the way they did in the second half.

“I think all the young lads there have big futures, but it is all about consistency and I am sure this experience will help them, but I hope mentally it doesn’t go the other way.

“I hope they don’t find it hard to cope because it is too much too soon, but with ‘Webby’ (Danny Webb) in charge I am sure he is helping them any way he can. He will be there with advice and able to help them get through the tough times.”

The Crawley winger went on to discuss how the talent of Judd, Clark, Pollock and Koroma has always been clear to see.

But Cox feels sorry for them and the other teenagers being put in such a high pressure situation due to the departure of several senior players.

He said: “The youngsters are first class to be coping with this. The likes of ‘Juddy’ and ‘Clarky’ are 18 and 19 and you’ve got Aron and Josh.

“They have always been good, so we know they are good enough, but to be thrown into a League Two dogfight is nothing short of stupid.

“I think they could maybe play a game here and there, but to play every week and have to cope with matters off the field is tough.

“The ability they have got, they are good enough, but they need time and Orient are in a position at the moment where they don’t have the time to have a dodgy performance one week and then play well the next week. They need to be playing well every game, but you are not going to get that from youngsters.”

Dean Cox was speaking on behalf of the John Hartson Foundation, which aims to increase awareness of testicular cancer and raise funds to support those whose lives are affected by cancer. If you would like to donate you can do so through their website https://www.johnhartsonfoundation.co.uk/.

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