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Leyton Orient boss Andy Hessenthaler praises 'honest pro' Robbie Weir after dropping skipper for match with Stevenage

PUBLISHED: 12:00 18 August 2016

Leyton Orient captain Robbie Weir jumps high to win a header against Newport County (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient captain Robbie Weir jumps high to win a header against Newport County (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

Northern Irish midfielder has struggled with knee problem and sickness bug over last few weeks, but will be great signing for east Londoners

Leyton Orient manager Andy Hessenthaler hailed the professionalism of captain Robbie Weir on Tuesday night.

The 27-year-old has endured a difficult start to the season after picking up a knee injury just before the League Two opener at Cheltenham Town.

On top of that he suffered a sickness bug in the lead up to the game at Whaddon Road and was a doubt.

Although he started O’s first three matches in all competitions, he was subbed off in every one and not at his best having looked excellent at the start of pre-season.

It led to Weir being dropped for Tuesday’s clash with Stevenage, but Hessenthaler was full of praise for the ex-Burton Albion midfielder.

He said: “I’ve got to say Robbie is an outstanding professional having had a chat with him because it was a tough call to sit down with my skipper and leave him out.

“But he took it and he’s had the illness in pre-season and feels it has knocked him and he hasn’t recovered from it properly yet.

“He is a proper honest pro and a proper honest lad and I knew once Nigel Atangana had to come off, we’d be fine with our skipper on the pitch. He’s a top lad to work with.”

Atangana’s cameo appearances off the bench led to him starting against Stevenage and he impressed again.

The French midfielder was forced off in the 51st minute due to a shin problem, but Weir looked sharper after coming on at Brisbane Road.

Liam Kelly was another to suffer the illness bug which hit Orient’s captain, but recovered slightly quicker.

He played the full 90 minutes on Tuesday against Boro and delivered an excellent display to help inspire the 3-0 victory.

“Liam’s a terrific signing. He was captain at Oldham, he knows this division and the one above it,” said Hessenthaler.

“He was everywhere against Stevenage, along with a few of them, I think he was another who was knocked by the illness during the summer, but he is back to himself now.”

A lot is expected of Weir and Kelly this season and although they would have preferred to make a better start, there is no doubting the quality of the pair.

Following his performance against Stevenage, it appears the ex-Oldham skipper is beginning to hit top form now.

It might take Weir a little bit more time to match that, but there should be no doubt the Northern Irishman will be a fantastic signing for Orient.

Throughout pre-season he demonstrated his leadership skills and quality on the pitch, particularly against Charlton Athletic.

O’s supporters haven’t seen the best of Weir just yet, but I’m 100 per cent sure they will very shortly.

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