O’s legend Dean Cox has refused to rule out a return to Brisbane Road in the future either as a player or coach.

The 30-year-old enjoyed a seven-year spell with Orient, making over 270 appearances in all competitions as he established himself as a fan favourite, but his time in East London was brought to an abrupt end in September 2016 when his contract was terminated by mutual consent.

Cox would join League 2 side Crawley Town nearly two weeks later, but was unable to make his debut for the club until January 2017, as he left Brisbane Road after the transfer window had slammed shut.

However, the 30-year-old will be back at Brisbane Road in May when he features in the Errol McKellar charity match and he admitted he wouldn’t rule out a permanent return to the O’s in the future.

Speaking to the Guardian Series last week, Cox said: “It’s a club that I hold in high regard and I had a fantastic time there. I can’t predict anything but I’d never rule out coming back to Orient in some capacity because it’s such a fantastic football club.”

On the pitch, it has been a transitional season for Orient, with hopes of an instant return to League 2 quickly fading under Steve Davis, who was sacked as head coach in November with the club in 19th place after a run of one win in 12 games.

However, things have picked up under Justin Edinburgh’s stewardship, with the O’s currently sitting in 13th position after wins over Woking and Guiseley and Cox believes the club now have the right man at the helm.

He said: “When I left, let’s be honest, it was a shambles. I think that Lingy (Martin Ling) has gone in and given the club a lift and let’s take our hats off to the new owner as well. He’s doing fantastic work down there.

“It’s been a transition as they have had to overturn a lot of players and new players have come in. Looking at it now, it looks like they’ve got the right man in Justin Edinburgh to lead them forward. I know Matt Harrold from his time at Crawley and he speaks very highly of Justin, so the players like him.”

He added: “I think next year has to be the year that they’ve got to go for it. It’s such a big club. But they’ve had a lot of work to do off the pitch which I think they have done impeccably. I’ve been down a few times and it feels like a different club from when I was there.

“It’s a sleeping giant in the National League. It’s not going to be easy and no one thought it would be easy in the first year. I don’t think anyone expected them to go straight up as it’s not as easy as that. But they’ve had a taste of it and they’ve recruited really well recently with Sam Ling coming in.”