Lloyd: It’s good to be back

PUBLISHED: 13:00 08 April 2015

Lloyd James fires home from the penalty spot to give Leyton Orient the lead against Gillingham (pic: Simon O'Connor)

Lloyd James fires home from the penalty spot to give Leyton Orient the lead against Gillingham (pic: Simon O'Connor)

Simon O"Connor/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way

Orient midfielder delighted with return

Lloyd James (centre) celebrates with Dean Cox and David Mooney after scoring from the penalty spot for Leyton Orient against Gillingham (pic; Simon O'Connor)Lloyd James (centre) celebrates with Dean Cox and David Mooney after scoring from the penalty spot for Leyton Orient against Gillingham (pic; Simon O'Connor)

Leyton Orient midfielder Lloyd James admitted it was good to be back in the starting line-up after playing the full 90 minutes against Gillingham on Monday.

Welshman James had not started a game since September 27, when he suffered a broken leg, but enjoyed something of a fairytale return as he netted from the penalty spot.

That gave Fabio Liverani’s men the lead, but Gills hit back for a 3-1 advantage by the hour mark before Darius Henderson and Josh Wright struck to salvage a point.

And James felt it could prove crucial in the battle for League One survival, saying: “It’s good to be back, but it’s not about me. We know we’re in a dogfight and it’s about getting results.

“‘Moons’ was on the penalties before. but obviously I’ve taken penalties before, and he said ‘Lloyd you take it’ so obviously I took it and luckily enough I scored.

“We know we weren’t at the races, but it could be a valuable point come the end of the season. I think we showed great character to come back from two goals down and belief to get back to 3-3.”

Alex Cisak made a key save to deny Gillingham a fourth goal, before Henderson struck midway through the second half to give the home side hope.

Wright netted the equaliser five minutes from time having opened his account for the club just days earlier with the winner at Coventry.

And James paid tribute to the trio, adding: “Since he’s come in Alex has been fantastic. He’s a great lad to have around the changing room and the saves he pulled off were outstanding and he’s done that a few times this season.

“Darius has been fantastic for us in the games he’s played. You can see what he brings to the team when he comes on or if he starts. He’s a nightmare for defenders. I’d hate to mark him if I was playing at the back!

“He took his goal fantastically well and so did Josh Wright. Josh has been brilliant for us all season and he come up trumps again for the boys.”

James, 27, had been a regular in the side last season, as Orient reached the play-off final at Wembley.

And he started most of the early matches this term, before suffering his injury against Rochdale.

Liverani had used him off the bench in the wins over Port Vale and Coventry before throwing him in from the start against Gills and James admitted he took time to settle, but he is looking to help haul O’s away from the relegation zone.

He added: “It took me a little while to get going because you’re out there on the pitch and not seeing things where you’re not full match sharp. Obviously it’s going to take you a few games to get your bearings.

“It’s great to be back, but it’s not about me it’s the team. We’ve got to dig in now with the games we’ve got left and that could be a valuable point come the end of the season.

“We weren’t at our fluent self and full credit to Gillingham, they pressed us very well. But we dug in, got a point and we move on to next Saturday away to Crewe which is a massive game.”

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