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Archived News from August 2003

14th August 2003 14:13


Christie has nothing to prove to Os' boss

IYSEDEN Christie has blasted Paul Brush for pushing him out of Brisbane Road and bringing in an 'inferior' replacement in Lee Thorpe.
The ex-Os striker, who lines up against the E10 side this Saturday for Mansfield, left the club under a cloud at the end of 2001-2 after failing to agree terms on a new contract.
Christie, who scored 14 times in 32 starts for the E10 club, told RecorderSport he was offered a deal that was 'close' to what he wanted but it was then replaced by a much-reduced offer as Barry Hearn cited money worries following the ITV Digital collapse.
The 26-year-old subsequently returned to Mansfield, the club he joined Os from for £40,000 in 1999, and notched 19 goals in Division Two last season.
Christie insists he is now fully over the cruciate ligament injury which sidelined him for 16 months before he famously returned with a goal in the 4-1 FA Cup mauling of Portsmouth in January 2002.
He said: "I really wanted to stay at Orient and I was enjoying it there because I'd done well after coming back from injury, but they didn't want to keep me.
"They weren't prepared to offer me enough to be able to relocate to London but then went out and signed Lee Thorpe on more money than me, even though he's not as good a striker as I am.
"I've got nothing to prove to Paul Brush because he saw what I could do last season as I was banging in the goals."
Christie says he gets butterflies in his stomach thinking about facing the Os and would love to score against his old club, although the three points are what the Coventry-based striker is more concerned with.
"I couldn't believe we were playing Orient so early in the season and I'm getting nervous just thinking about it," Christie added.
"We should be up there contending for promotion this season, as long as we can defend well and hopefully I'll do my bit in front of goal."
Christie is enjoying life at Field Mill after being offered an improved deal midway through last season.
He relishes being able to commute easily from the home he shares with his girlfriend and two children rather than embarking on the arduous drive to London that would often take four hours.
Christie said: "It was tiring a lot of the time to make it to training with Orient, and that was why I wanted to move down south. But it wasn't to be and I'm very happy here now."


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