Leyton Orient forward Paul McCallum shows his goalscoring prowess but will he get wise at Morecambe?
PUBLISHED: 11:00 02 September 2016
Andy Hessenthaler discusses balance of the team with Callum Kennedy and Sandro Semedo on left and form of ex-West Ham United youngster
After watching Leyton Orient stroll comfortably past Stevenage in the English Football League Trophy on Tuesday night, O’s manager Andy Hessenthaler knows he has some tough decisions to make ahead of the weekend trip to Morecambe.
The east Londoners make the long journey north to face the Shrimps at the Globe Arena and take on a side sitting top of the League Two table.
Jim Bentley’s men have begun the new campaign brilliantly, winning four of their opening five fixtures.
Orient’s start has been stuttering with just seven points from a possible 15, but Paul McCallum’s brace in midweek has given Hessenthaler a nice problem for Saturday.
The ex-West Ham United youngster has only played 206 minutes this season, but has scored four times now and is O’s top goalscorer.
“Paul’s record is great if you look over the past few years. He does what he does and gets in the box,” said Hessenthaler.
“He gets in the right places and it was a great finish for the first one and he’s in the right place for the second. Paul might have had a hat-trick because he was a bit unlucky with the overhead kick.
“I think he’s definitely getting fitter, you could see that on Tuesday and we wanted him to get through 90 minutes – he got that and kept on going. It’s great news for us and good competition for the weekend.”
The cup fixture against Stevenage offered an opportunity to the likes of Callum Kennedy at left-back and O’s captain Robbie Weir in the centre of midfield.
Both took their chance and could find themselves starting at the Globe Arena, especially with midfielder Nigel Atangana struggling with a tight groin.
Hessenthaler has played Sandro Semedo at left-back for every league fixture so far this year, but the Portuguese youngster has made a number of mistakes in recent weeks.
In fairness to the 19-year-old, his best position is left midfield and on Tuesday he showed that – delivering an excellent showing against Boro and scoring his first senior goal.
“Callum has been champing at the bit and we’ve played Sandro at left-back and he was beating himself up after the weekend because of a couple of mistakes he made against Mansfield,” added Hessenthaler.
“It wasn’t just him, though, and we’ve pushed him further forward on Tuesday and Callum’s come in because he needed to play.
“There was a nice balance about the team when you’ve got a lot of left-footed players. Callum is, Tom Parkes as well. It was a good performance against Stevenage and we had a lot of positives in terms of getting the youngsters on the pitch.”