Leyton Orient boss Andy Hessenthaler eyeing more experience in defence after pre-season victory at Wealdstone

PUBLISHED: 13:00 14 July 2016

Leyton Orient's young duo Aron Pollock (left) and Sandro Semedo celebrate after helping beat Mansfield Town last season (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient's young duo Aron Pollock (left) and Sandro Semedo celebrate after helping beat Mansfield Town last season (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

The O's manager keen to protect Aron Pollock and not force the youngster to play more games than his development requires

Leyton Orient caretaker Andy Hessenthaler watches on (pic: Simon O'Connor).Leyton Orient caretaker Andy Hessenthaler watches on (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient manager Andy Hessenthaler believes they need to add more experience in central defence after watching his team beat Wealdstone on Tuesday night.

Former Dagenham & Redbridge defender Eddie Oshodi bundled the National League South side in front after just five minutes.

Jay Simpson levelled it up in the 25th minute, though, before Sandro Semedo’s low first-half effort gave Hessenthaler’s side victory.

Aron Pollock, 18, partnered Tom Parkes in defence, before Yvan Erichot and Michael Clark, also 18, finished the game at Grosvenor Vale and played a part in the 2-1 win.

Hessenthaler admits the O’s could still strengthen in that area despite making eight signings already. He said: “I look at our back four and we’re a little bit young.

“Nicky Hunt and Sean Clohessy offer us experience on the right and we’ve brought in Callum Kennedy on the left, but the back-up on the left is the young boy Josh Doherty who has come out of Watford.

“We have ‘Parksey’ and the right-sided centre half, the French boy Yvan. It’s early days for him. He has a lot of work to do, he has to learn the English language which won’t be easy and will take a bit of time.

“Then he needs to understand the game so that may be an area, if we can bring another in – defensively is where we’re looking. Generally though it is pretty much done with what we’ve got at the moment.”

Pollock shone for Orient during their final two matches of the 2015/16 season and signed a professional contract until the end of 2018.

Hessenthaler believes he has a big future at Brisbane Road, but warned not to expect him to be able to play 46 games in League Two this year.

“If we bring somebody in they’ve got to be as good, if not better than what we’ve got so they have to be coming into the side,” he added.

“Aron is only 18 and you’ve also got ‘Parksey’ so we’re quite young in the centre and we perhaps need another experienced one in there to help us along this year.

“Although Aron did well at the end of last season, to say he can go and play 46 games for us would be tough on the kid.

“We might need to dip him in and out like we did last year because we have to remember he’s only 18. He has a lot of learning to do and work, but he’ll be good for the football club.”

Orient have only played two games of pre-season, but appear to have a settled squad with Hessenthaler only looking to add a few more players.

It is in stark contrast to last year when at this stage previous head coach Ian Hendon had only signed five people and had lots of trialists.

Hessenthaler explained the squad needed to be boosted quickly this summer as FIFA have now banned the emergency loan system.

He added: “What’s important now and this year is the loan window has changed. Once the transfer window shuts at the end of August you can’t get emergency loans in for another six months. You have to get your squad in place by the end of August.”

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