JOHN Mackie bowed out of Brisbane Road this week after becoming one of six players axed by manager Martin Ling, but claiming he could leave Orient with his head held high.

The O's skipper headed a list that also included Shane Tudor, Justin Miller, Donny Barnard, Derek Duncan and Phil Mulryne, who were all shown the exit door by Ling after a season of struggle in their first campaign in League One. Reflecting on events former Reading defender Mackie said: "In someways I saw it coming, although I still believe I've made a valuable contribution to the club and it is never nice when you are told you are not being kept on.

"I came here from Reading to help Orient get promotion and we did that last season.

"Our aim this year was to stay up in League One and I've helped us do that as well.

"There was also a stage at Christmas when I put myself on the line for the club. I was having injections to get through games to help the manager out while he had injuries, so I think I can leave Orient with my head held high and I certainly don't have a bad word to say about the manager.

"He had a decision to make for football reasons and while I'm disappointed the club are letting me go I have to respect his judgment.

"I do however believe he is going to have a hard job replacing the six of us, but I wish him and the club well for the future and I would like to thank the fans for all their support during my time here." Winger Tudor, who was another one of the big name casualties also admitted that he had left the club on good terms. He then went onto reveal that his desire to move back closer to his Midlands roots may have made Ling's decision easier, and it is thought that both Port Vale and Walsall are leading the chase to secure his services now. He said: "I've not made a secret of wanting to move back to the Midlands and I think that helped the manager make his decision on me.

"While I've got a lot of good friends down here, I don't have any family so I want to move closer to home and I would also like to be there for my mum as well.

"I've loved my time at Orient and I would like to think I played a major role in helping us get promoted last season, as well as the fantastic FA Cup run we had.

"I know this campaign hasn't gone as well because of injuries, but if you look at all the important games we have won lately like at Bradford last week I believe I've made some valuable contributions in helping us stay up.

"I'm sure the fans will appreciate what I've done during my time here and having my name on a lot of the young Orient supporters' shirts has made me very proud and hopefully I will get a good reception if I come back next season."