Balanta a key player for Dagenham, says Embleton
PUBLISHED: 09:00 24 December 2018
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The former Boreham Wood attacker has impressed for Peter Taylor's side and will be a danger man on Boxing Day
Leyton Orient assistant Ross Embleton pinpointed Angelo Balanta as one to watch for the O’s on Boxing Day when they visit Dagenham & Redbridge.
The two local clubs enter the Victoria Road encounter with plenty at stake and off the back of excellent recent results.
Orient defeated Chesterfield 3-1 last time out, on December 22, to move four points clear at the top of the National League after Daggers stunned Salford City with a 2-1 away win at the title favourites.
Balanta netted for Peter Taylor’s side and has been a big part of their turnaround in form, which has seen them go from inside the relegation zone up to 15th and into the second round of the FA Trophy since the end of October.
Embleton said: “I think Dagenham’s start to the season has given people a slightly different impression of what they are actually capable of.
“They have made some good signings and I know the boy Balanta has gone in from Boreham Wood and made a real impact.
“I think Dagenham’s run of results has coincided with his signing, so they will be a different proposition to what everyone expected to see after their start of the season.
“We have to come up against them twice in a short space of time, but that is something we have overcome.”
Although Dagenham did Orient a big favour on Saturday, the O’s will not expect any more gifts from Taylor’s side.
If they are to remain on top spot, Justin Edinburgh’s team will have to go to clubs like Daggers and win.
This season Orient have done that and it is why Chesterfield boss Martin Allen tipped O’s to win the title following Saturday’s match in E10.
“I hope Martin’s right,” Embleton said. “We are aspiring to be champions, but I don’t think anybody at the start of the season would have planned for us to finish where we did last season and be top come Christmas.
“We have given ourselves a really good opportunity and if we continue to work hard and do things right and keep our focus on not getting carried then we have a good chance of doing it, but there is such a long way to go.
“The conversations we have week in, week out are along the lines of – we have had such a good first half to the season, but now we need to try and replicate it and if not potentially be better if the other teams strengthen and kick on.
“We need to make it about us and keep the focus on us and give ourselves the best chance to strive and achieve what we all want.”