Nolan full of praise for ‘top professional’ James

PUBLISHED: 13:05 30 March 2016 | UPDATED: 13:05 30 March 2016

Leyton Orient midfielder Lloyd James heads the ball forward against Hartlepool United (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient midfielder Lloyd James heads the ball forward against Hartlepool United (pic: Simon O'Connor).

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O’s boss discusses midfielders cameo on Monday, Shaun Brisley’s absence and sticking together

Leyton Orient player-manager Kevin Nolan challenges for the ball against a Hartlepool United opponent (pic: Simon O'Connor).Leyton Orient player-manager Kevin Nolan challenges for the ball against a Hartlepool United opponent (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient player-manager Kevin Nolan believes Lloyd James is getting back to full fitness and hopes he can help them reach Wembley.

The former Wales under-21 midfielder has endured a frustrating campaign so far after missing three months of football.

He returned from an achilles problem on March 19 in the 1-0 win over Morecambe before making another substitute appearance on Monday against Hartlepool United.

Even though the 28-year-old was unable to prevent O’s suffering a two-goal loss, he impressed in his 15-minute cameo.

“Lloyd has got that quality and I want him to get on the ball and the two lads to stay out wide because then it opens them spaces up for us,” said Nolan.

“I thought he was great against Hartlepool, but it is only what I expect from him. He is a top lad and bloke plus a really good professional.

“He is obviously now starting to get his fitness up, which is good, because we’ve got seven games left and hopefully another three after that, but we are taking it one match at a time.”

Orient were without Shaun Brisley at Brisbane Road as the Peterborough United loanee missed out with a dead leg.

Nolan confirmed they decided to allow the central defender more time to recover after suffering the injury at Accrington Stanley on Good Friday.

He added: “Shaun had a dead leg, but he did have a knee injury from before he come here. It was on the same side so we just had to be very careful with him.

“I think it was the best decision for him and us to not play him. We’re hoping he will be back for York City this weekend.”

Brisley is one of a number of players at Brisbane Road technically playing for their future with seven fixtures remaining.

His contract with League One outfit Posh runs out during the summer and Nolan wants everyone to step up for the final part of the campaign.

Orient have several players with deals finishing at the end of June and now is the time to impress.

Nolan: “It is coming to that difficult part of the season where people are playing to see if they will be here next year.

“Hopefully we can all step up together and, as a team and individuals, we can start getting our performances higher.

“If we can do that I really believe we can start getting the results and wins again - then the confidence comes back and we will start seeing much higher performance levels.”

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