LEYTON Orient have received a boost ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Doncaster Rovers - midfielder Martin Rowlands having agreed a new contract with the club to take him through to the end of January.
The 33-year-old midfielder initially joined the O’s in late August and penned a one-month deal after training with Russell Slade’s men in pre-season.
Rowlands immediately established himself in the starting XI and scored his first goal for the O’s in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Crewe Alexandra.
His contract was due to expire today but the former QPR man has now signed until January 27 - a spell that takes in at least another 25 games.
Rowlands has played five games so far for the Brisbane Road side, playing a key role in their recent unbeaten run.
“I’m delighted that Martin has agreed to extend his contract with the club. He is a good professional and an excellent player to have around the dressing room,” said Slade.
“He has brought experience and know how to the team over the last month and it’s great that he will continue to do that.”
Rowlands isn’t the only ex-QPR man on the O’s books. They signed 30-year-old winger Lee Cook, released by the Premier League side in the summer - on an initial five-month contract.
Cook scored one goal in 10 appearances while on loan with the O’s last season and also spent time at Charlton. He had been training with the O’s after leaving Rangers where he played 196 games in three separate spells.
Slade was appointed as manager of the O’s on April 5 2010, two days after previous boss Geraint Williams parted company with the club.
When he arrived, Orient were just one place above the League One drop zone after an alarming slump in form. He had successfully led Brighton to safety after the Seagulls found themselves in similar danger the season before, and he repeated the trick in E10 by winning three of the final five games in 2009/10.
Slade has also previously managed Scarborough, Grimsby Town and Yeovil Town and took the Glovers to the League One play-off final in 2007.
Ironically, he was pipped to promotion to League One by the O’s during his time as Grimsby boss, but almost made up for that in 2010/11 when he took the east Londoners to within a point of the play-offs.
Last season was less successful and the O’s, who lost 22 league games, finished just one place above the drop zone.
But having secured third tier status once again, he will be hoping for better this term and, after losing their first three league games and looking to be in for a difficult season, his charges they have climbed up to 14th place and are currently one of the form teams in League One.
The O’s who will be without Anthony Griffith, serving a one-match suspension, go into the game on a run of four games without defeat - a sequence which includes three wins. They handed Yeovil, who had beaten Rovers by the odd goal in three at Huish Park a few days earlier, 4-1 in their last home game.