Josh Koroma full of appreciation for Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh
- Credit: David Simpson/TGS Photo
The 19-year-old thanks his current manager, discusses playing centrally and reveals the latest with his contract
Leyton Orient youngster Josh Koroma is extremely grateful to head coach Justin Edinburgh for the faith he has shown in him since the turn of the year.
The 19-year-old has scored five times for the O’s this season and every one has been under the current manager.
Koroma scored the equaliser during Orient’s 1-1 draw at National League leaders Macclesfield Town on Saturday to make it back-to-back goals having netted in the 4-1 home triumph over Barrow on April 7.
Since Edinburgh handed the academy graduate a rare start on New Years Day away to local rivals Dagenham & Redbridge, the versatile teen has gone on to play a further 16 times and started on nine occasions.
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When discussing the impact of Orient’s head coach last week, Koroma said: “The gaffer is always on at me in games and in training and making sure I am doing the right things.
“Even when we are indoors, he is always making sure I am working in the gym and doing different work.
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“He is always on at me, but it is good and he has done a lot for me, especially over the past two to three months.”
While some managers have a laissez faire approach, Edinburgh does not and Koroma is thankful O’s current head coach is spending so much time and effort on him.
The talent of the Orient number 19 has never been in question with last season’s hat-trick at Newport County a primary example of his quality, but it seems he does need someone to keep him on track – as is the case with so many youngsters.
Edinburgh’s endeavour with Koroma is now paying off and it is also down to the work of the other backroom staff at the club who know the south Londoner so well.
Interestingly, in the past two games, the teenager, who joined O’s as a 15-year-old, has played in a slightly different position.
Generally Koroma has played on the right or left wing for the first-team, but against Barrow he played behind Macauley Bonne in a more central role and grabbed the all-important second goal in a 4-1 win.
This cameo performance was enough to earn him a start at Macclesfield and he again rewarded Edinburgh with a goal and a largely encouraging display before a knock to his foot forced him off.
Despite spending most of his time on the wing for Orient, he actually enjoys playing in a more central position.
Koroma added: “This role is different to what I had been doing previously, but I prefer to play centrally and I will do a job wherever.
“Game time is game time at the end of the day and I am happy to play wherever, but this role is different because you are not tracking a full-back all the time.
“In this role I have to try and sit on the holding midfielder, so I just need to adapt to wherever I play and try to do my best.”
Wherever Koroma has played recently, he has looked more dangerous than during a difficult start to the campaign.
This could be down to a number of reasons, but one key factor is the fact the young attacker has lost some of the extra weight he had at the beginning of the term.
He returned from pre-season looking bulkier than usual and only recently has he got back to the slender winger we saw last year.
“The staff did say I was a bit too top-heavy and I needed to lose it. I tried to do that and I am starting to lose more weight,” said Koroma.
“I am losing more and more every day which is helping me because I feel sharper than I did at the start of the season. I feel faster and fitter now, so that’s good.”
Orient are certainly benefiting from a leaner Koroma now and the hope will be he can maintain this type of form in the 2017/18 campaign.
As things stand, his contract at O’s ends on June 30, but the club do have the option to extend it by another year.
Given all the positive things Edinburgh has said about Koroma in recent months, you would suspect the youngster will be at Brisbane Road next season.
Koroma said: “It is not actually my option; it is up to the club to take up the extra year. I would like to see what they are going to do with me. We have obviously had a few conversations, but we just need to figure out what is best.”