James to make return
- Credit: Archant
O’s boss reveals midfielder will play in reserve fixture this week and discusses concentration levels of the squad
Leyton Orient player-manager Kevin Nolan has confirmed Lloyd James will be involved in a ‘Final Third’ Development League match this week as he looks to improve his match fitness.
The 28-year-old has endured a frustrating campaign and not played for O’s since the 1-1 draw with Yeovil Town on December 19.
He has been out with an achilles problem ever since, but recently returned to first team training.
Nolan confirmed the former Southampton midfielder will play in a fixture at Cambridge United this week.
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“Lloyd has trained with us over the last two weeks and he’ll be playing in a reserve game,” said the Orient boss.
“He will be involved in that as well as a lot of the boys who are in and around the squad.
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“They need 90 minutes just in case they are needed if anything like Saturday happens, they’ll need to be ready and raring to go.”
After Mathieu Baudry’s red card at Oxford United, Connor Essam is another likely to play against the U’s.
Crystal Palace loan goalkeeper David Gregory is set to be involved as will Blair Turgott, Bradley Pritchard and Jack Payne.
Sammy Moore could also feature if he is fully recovered from the illness that saw him miss out completely last weekend.
Nolan added: “Sammy has had a bit of an illness and we didn’t want him in and around the boys in case the other lads caught it.
“We kept him at home but he has been going to the gym and he’ll be in and around us again this week, hopefully we’ll have a fully fit squad for Morecambe.”
The east Londoners moved back into the League Two play-off places with a 1-0 win at the Yellows on Saturday.
Jobi McAnuff scored the only goal of the game in the 74th minute after the visitors had started to create frequent chances at the Kassam Stadium.
Nolan admits he is keen for his squad to remain fully focused ahead of hosting Morecambe.
He challenged them to not let their concentration levels drop just because they aren’t facing a side battling for promotion.
“Every time we play somebody that is above us or in and around ourselves we seem to be really concentrated and everybody is on it that week,” said Nolan.
“It is when we drop to the teams that are just in or out of it or six to seven points away from us that is when the concentration may sway out.
“But I said on Saturday, we have to be fully focused now. We will enjoy the victory but come Monday we are back in and on it.
“We put Oxford to bed on Tuesday after the video analyse and say well done, give people pats on the back, but then it is all about Morecambe.”