Cuthbert has huge sympathy for Orient's plight

Scott Cuthbert battles with John Akinde last weekend

Scott Cuthbert battles with John Akinde last weekend

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Hatters skipper Scott Cuthbert admitted it has been hard to watch the dramatic plight of his former club Leyton Orient this season.

The 29-year-old spent four years at the Matchroom Stadium prior to joining Luton in 2015, making over 150 appearances for the O’s, including playing in the League One play-off final in the 2013-14 campaign, when Orient were beaten on penalties by Rotherham.

However, now the O’s, who visit Kenilworth Road this afternoon, are on the verge of relegation to the National League, after a terrible season in which they have already had five different managers under much-maligned chairman Francesco Becchetti.

Orient could even go down this afternoon if other results go against them, as Cuthbert just hopes that an end is in sight to their well publicised off-field troubles, which has seen players, including Town's on-loan forward Ollie Palmer, and staff not being paid recently.

He said: “It’s a shame, I loved my four years there.

“They’ve got some great people behind the scenes, some great people that have been there through tough times before and tough times now and they deserve better to be honest.

“I just really hope for the sake of the supporters and the good people at the club that the chairman doesn’t the right thing and sells and gets someone in there that the club means a bit more to them so they can get back to being that strong family run club that I signed for.

“As they are a very good club, but it just needs someone else to take over and for them to start again unfortunately.”

With massive overhaul in playing staff, Cuthbert doesn’t have any former team-mates at the club these days, although still speaks fondly of his association with the O’s supporters.

He continued: “Everyone I played with has left now, the coaching staff has changed, chairman has changed, so only person I kind of have a bit of contact to is Ada (Martin) the kitman.

"He’s there, he's been there through thick and think, they’re the people you feel for. All the staff behind the scenes working tirelessly and not getting paid either, it’s a shame.

“I've got quite a good relationship with the Orient supporters, and it’s just a bad situation for everyone. But they’ve got a very young squad, they'll be looking forward to coming to Luton Town and hopefully causing an upset, so we’ve got to make sure that doesn’t happen.”

Hatters boss Nathan Jones wasn’t getting drawn into speaking too much on anything going on behind the scenes at today's opponents, saying: “I don’t like commenting too much on other clubs as we tend to look after our own house, but you don’t like to see clubs suffering or the stories that come out in terms of players wages.

“So I feel for the players and the fans, but it’s not for me to comment, it would be wrong.

“They have a lot of youngsters in the last couple of games, but whether that’s the case against us is another thing.

"There's a bit of unpredictability over what they're doing, so all we can do is prepare our team and whatever team I put out, will hopefully be in good form and be right up for winning a football match."

With the O's 10 points from safety going into the final five games of the campaign, there is a chance they could be relegated after today's clash, if they lose and other results go against them.

However, Cuthbert insisted he only had eyes on a Hatters victory, adding: "I’m fully focused on getting promotion for this club. As much as I loved my time at Leyton Orient, that’s done and dusted.

"I'm fully focused on Luton Town and getting this club up into a higher league."