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Leyton Orient head coach Steve Davis hopes to have key players back for Aldershot Town test

PUBLISHED: 10:00 18 September 2017

Leyton Orient winger James Dayton in action against Eastleigh (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient winger James Dayton in action against Eastleigh (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

Brisbane Road club fell to a third consecutive defeat last weekend, as they lost 2-1 at home to Hartlepool United

Leyton Orient head coach Steve Davis is hoping to have James Dayton back for the trip to Aldershot Town this Saturday in the National League.

The winger has missed the O’s last two matches through injury, but he could return for the clash at the Recreation Ground.

Josh Coulson and Matt Harrold may also return, though Davis is without several other first-teamers for the foreseeable future.

He said: “George (Elokobi) is four to six weeks, so that’s not going to change because he had quite a bad tear in the hamstring.

“We are not sure about Coulson’s groin. It is very difficult to see whether it is a little tug or something else, but it is definitely getting better.

“It has settled down now, obviously he wasn’t fit for Hartlepool United, but we are hopeful he will be back for Aldershot.

“James Dayton is the same. He has a slight tweak with his hamstring and again that wasn’t quite ready for last weekend.

“Fingers crossed it will be okay for Saturday and Matt has a sore calf, so it’s just a culmination of him not playing enough football from where he’s come from and breaking down when his body is asked to do things he is not conditioned for.

“Virtually all of the injuries we have picked up are muscular problems and that’s because the body isn’t conditioned enough.

“The ones I have mentioned are the main ones we have, but we hope Josh, Matt and ‘Dayts’ will be back for this weekend.

“Craig Clay came off with a hamstring problem and Moons (David Mooney) came off with a shoulder issue, but we won’t know about them until Monday.”

The injury crisis in defence resulted in Dan Happe making his first start of the season at the weekend.

The 18-year-old centre back looked assured alongside Jamie Sendles-White and stood up well to the challenge on just his third league appearance for O’s.

After Michael Clark endured a tough night on Tuesday against Halifax Town, Davis felt it was right to make a change.

He was impressed with Happe and discussed the qualities of the tall defender, who despite some cramp late on, could be happy with his efforts.

Davis added: “It was his first full game this season and he is ready. He’s a good centre back and has a bit of everything. He rarely gets beat, he is big and can head it and has a good left foot, which gives us better balance.

“Obviously ‘Clarky’ didn’t give us as much balance against Halifax and had a tough night, so from a confidence point of view it felt like a good game to bring Dan in and I thought he did very well.”

In addition to the aforementioned injuries to Elokobi, Coulson, Dayton, Clay, Mooney and Harrold, O’s also have Charlie Lee out for the long-term future after he had surgery on his knee last Monday.

Aron Pollock is also out with a hamstring problem, while Christian Scales is understood to have returned early from his loan spell at Harlow Town due to an injury.

Orient have a mounting list of absentees right now, but it is a chance for others in the squad to step up. So far, most have not seized their chances and as a result O’s are 13th in the table.

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