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Matt Harrold set to return for Leyton Orient at Wrexham with boss Steve Davis desperate for a result

PUBLISHED: 14:00 27 October 2017

Leyton Orient forward Matt Harrold wins the ball in the air against AFC Fylde (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient forward Matt Harrold wins the ball in the air against AFC Fylde (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

East Londoners visit Wales hoping to return to winning ways in the division, but ready for a tough battle

Leyton Orient head coach Steve Davis is hoping Matt Harrold will be available to play at Wrexham this weekend.

The Leyton-born forward has not featured for the O’s since scoring in the 2-1 defeat at Tranmere Rovers on October 4.

When Harrold is fit, he offers Orient an alternative up front in comparison to David Mooney and Macauley Bonne.

Davis said: “We are hoping Matt will be back for Wrexham. Games like Tuesday (2-0 defeat to Gateshead) we need someone up there and we don’t have that big target man because Matt’s just never been fit.

“He came having played 90 minutes once and we pushed him and he broke down and we brought him back quickly and he broke down again, so he scored at Tranmere, but broke down after.

“We felt he needed three weeks and we’ve tried to give him that even though we could have done with him against Gateshead.

“I am hoping he’ll be involved at Wrexham in some aspect, but Alex (Lawless) I’m not sure about.

“He has had a groin problem and Jobi (McAnuff) also has, but he’s played against Gateshead and now Joe Widdowson’s got a torn hamstring, so the numbers keep adding up.”

Orient’s injury list is lengthy enough as it is with Charlie Lee and George Elokobi unlikely to play again in 2017.

Josh Coulson should return at the end of November, but Davis will have to make do with what is at his disposal for the foreseeable future.

“I’m not sure if I can bring in more faces,” said O’s head coach. “It won’t be my decision, so I’ll just work with the group I’ve got at the moment and try to get them into some type of shape which will get a result.

“It is up to Martin (Ling) and other people at the club whether we can get more in, but it’s unlikely, so we just need to get our players back and when we do, we know we’re as good as anybody in the league.

“All of our men and experienced players aren’t in the group at the moment and that’s been a big hammer blow for us and something we’ve not been able to replace, so that’s a fact.

“But if we can drip feed one or two back into the team it will help the confidence of the players.

“As a player myself, when you know you have the better players and men in the team it does give you a bit of confidence and a lift, so if we can do that then it will help.”

The return of Harrold should help O’s, but Wrexham will provide them with another stern examination on Saturday.

The Dragons have won eight times in the division to sit third in the table with 29 points after 17 games.

Wrexham haven’t lost at the Racecourse Ground since the opening day either, so if O’s want to get back on track, they need to be prepared for a real battle.

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