Webb praises Koroma's maturity and discusses win over Blyth
PUBLISHED: 11:00 04 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:14 04 February 2019
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The O's first-team development coach reflected on the interest in Josh Koroma and Saturday's cup victory
Danny Webb talked up the level-headedness of Leyton Orient attacker Josh Koroma following last weekend’s 1-0 win over Blyth Spartans in the FA Trophy third round.
The O’s academy graduate missed the game with a hamstring injury, which will keep him on the sidelines for most of this month.
It didn’t stop League One outfit Sunderland coming in for Koroma, who has been one of Orient’s players of the season, on Thursday, January 31 - Transfer Deadline Day.
The National League leaders rejected a bid of £300k for the 20-year-old, but the O’s number 19 has been linked with various clubs over the past eight weeks and yet it has not affected his game when he has been fit.
Webb, who worked with Koroma in the youth-team, said: “The position we are in, we want to keep hold of our best players.
“To be fair to Josh, even when those rumours started – false or true – he has kept his head throughout the season and the same with all the other young players who people have talked about.
“As coaches that is all you look for; for those players not to get big time or carried away and to stay grounded and they have done.
“It is a complement to them and the club that the interest is there, but we are also looking to get out of this league.”
Orient took a break from the division on Saturday to focus on the FA Trophy and they eventually made it through.
Jamie Turley scored the only goal of the game in the 84th minute from Dale Gorman’s excellent free kick.
First-team development coach Webb admitted it was far from vintage, but insisted it can be hard for fringe players coming into the team with Justin Edinburgh making seven changes to the side which saw off Maidstone United the weekend before.
“If you don’t play every week sometimes it is hard to go in and just turn it on,” Webb, 35, said.
“All you can ask of the fringe players is when they do get a chance, they just give it their best and I thought they did.
“Was the performance absolutely spotless? No, but you could say that every week and yet we got a result against a team who are only in the league below us.
“A few years ago it wasn’t the case, but they are going for promotion and are trying to get into our league if we don’t go up, so it was a tough game and I think the fringe players coming in certainly gave their all.”
Chances were at a premium for Spartans, but they did have one big opportunity in the 89th minute.
A cross fell for Robert Dale and he fired towards goal, but Dean Brill saved superbly and Turley blocked the follow up effort by Adam Wrightson.
If it had gone in, Orient would have had a replay up in Blyth on Tuesday night and it would have been the last thing they wanted.
Webb added: “I was getting my pillow ready as the ball went across the box and thinking don’t do that to us.
“Dean has done well all season and to be fair to the player he has got it on target and Dean has made a point blank save.
“I thought we defended the box well throughout, but when we need ‘Brillo’ he usually comes to the rescue and he did.”
While Orient kept up their chances of a potential double with Saturday’s triumph over the National League North Spartans, they did lose 2-1 at Welling United last Tuesday to get dumped out of the London Senior Cup.
Surprisingly Arthur Janata got the nod in goal and days later Sam Sargeant was back on the bench for the clash with Blyth.
Post-match Webb confirmed Sargeant had a slight injury ahead of the clash with the Wings and the club felt it was not worth taking a risk.
He added: “Sam (Sargeant) had a sore back and Sam being Sam he wanted to play through the pain, but with all due respect to the competition, you don’t want to see your number two get injured when he already has a bad back.
“Especially when you look at the fact we had Trophy games and more importantly league games coming up.”