Midfielder’s sympathy Payne with strugglers

Blackpool midfielder Jack Payne is back on familiar turf when the Seasiders travel to Leyton Orient this afternoon
Blackpool midfielder Jack Payne is back on familiar turf when the Seasiders travel to Leyton Orient this afternoon
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Blackpool midfielder – and former Leyton Orient loanee – Jack Payne has admitted the East London club is going through a “hard time”.

A large number of Orient fans have strongly voiced their concerns over Francesco Becchetti’s running of the club after the Italian took over from Barry Hearn in 2014.

Including caretakers, the club is on an eighth manager in a little more than two years and currently sits in 19th place in League Two.

Their current manager, Italian Alberto Cavasin, struggles with fluent English and relies on translators to conduct post-match interviews.

Payne spent the 2015/16 season on loan with the O’s, scoring once in 32 appearances as they finished in eighth position in League Two, and the former Peterborough man admitted things are far from perfect at Brisbane Road.

“I was there last year on loan so I know what is going on there at the club,” he said.

“Obviously they’ve struggled and they got relegated after reaching the play-off final, but it is a good club and I’m sure they’ll get back up the table as soon as they can.

“They had three managers last year but it’s hard, because everyone at the club knew what was going on but to be fair to the fans, they were really good with us and supported us every week. It is a hard place to be but I’m sure they’ll sort it out soon.”

His comments come as supporters of both Leyton Orient and Blackpool prepare to take part in a protest before today’s game.

The demonstration, organised jointly by the Leyton Orient Fans’ Trust (LOFT) and Blackpool Supporters’ Trust (BST), is fuelled by fans’ anger who want to see a change of ownership at their clubs.

Things are looking a lot more promising on the pitch for Blackpool, who extended their unbeaten run to five games with a 4-0 win against Notts County last weekend.

But Payne said it’s important the players don’t get too carried away with their recent spike in form.

The 24-year-old said: “It was only one game so we don’t want to get too carried away. We don’t want to get too high with the highs and too low with the lows.”