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Patience needed with O's forward Simpson after prolonged absence

PUBLISHED: 15:00 21 February 2019

Jay Simpson in action for Leyton Orient against Maidenhead United in the National League (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Jay Simpson in action for Leyton Orient against Maidenhead United in the National League (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

Charlie Lee believes the former Arsenal and Queens Park Rangers striker will prove to be a fine addition

Last weekend, during Leyton Orient’s 1-0 defeat at home to Maidenhead United, Jay Simpson started his first competitive game of football for almost five months.

Despite not kicking a ball in anger for a significant period of time, the forward looked sharp and showed flashes of his quality.

A couple of trademark nutmegs reminded O’s fans of what they witnessed frequently in the 2015/16 campaign and he played a handful of impressive passes too.

One chance fell his way and despite Simpson’s ability in front of goal, he could only fire straight at Carl Pentney from 12-yards.

It was meant to be a triumphant homecoming for the ex-Orient marksman, but instead it ended up being Maidenhead’s result of the season.

Team-mate Charlie Lee was quick to point out Simpson was unlikely to walk straight into the team and start finding the net on a regular basis instantly.

But he did insist it will not be long before the experienced striker begins to make his mark in E10 again.

“Obviously it was always going to be hard for him to come in and start banging goals left, right and centre because he hasn’t played for a while, but he is in great shape and ready to impress,” Lee said.

“He has been training for a while and working hard, but there is nothing like playing matches. It is weird in a way because it doesn’t feel like a new signing because a lot of the boys have played with him and he has been around for a while.

“We are excited still and the fans are excited because it is great for us to have a player of his calibre. It bolsters the threats we have going forward.”

Soon boss Justin Edinburgh will be spoilt for choice in attack and it will come as a relief to him given O’s struggles in front of goal lately.

Orient have fired blanks in four of their last seven league matches, scoring just five times in this period.

Admittedly they have continued to progress in the FA Trophy, but they need to start creating more chances and taking them.

The return of James Dayton and Josh Koroma, who have both been sidelined with hamstring injuries, will help.

Dayton looks set to be involved at Brackley Town in the FA Trophy on Saturday and attacking sensation Koroma doesn’t appear too far behind either.

Lee added: “We have some really good players going forward and even against Maidenhead we showed spells, but when we are on top we have to score.

“We couldn’t do it, but we have plenty on the pitch and with ‘Dayts’ and Koroma coming back soon, hopefully we can put it right.”

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