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Koroma praise 'fully deserved' according to Orient assistant

PUBLISHED: 18:45 01 December 2018 | UPDATED: 18:45 01 December 2018

Leyton Orient attacker Josh Koroma celebrates scoring against Bromley with his team-mates in front of ex-O's ace George Porter (pic: Simon O'Connor)

Leyton Orient attacker Josh Koroma celebrates scoring against Bromley with his team-mates in front of ex-O's ace George Porter (pic: Simon O'Connor)

Simon O'Connor Photography

Ross Embleton discussed Josh Koroma's latest fine display and reflected on his development over the past 12 months after the 2-0 win over Gateshead

Leyton Orient attacker Josh Koroma lets fly from range against Havant & Waterlooville (pic: Simon O'Connor).Leyton Orient attacker Josh Koroma lets fly from range against Havant & Waterlooville (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient assistant Ross Embleton admitted Josh Koroma fully deserves plaudits for his current performances after he helped the O’s win 2-0 against a stubborn Gateshead team this afternoon to remain first in the National League.

Justin Edinburgh’s side had struggled to create chances before the breakthrough was made in the 59th minute.

Koroma controlled the ball, turned away from ex-Newcastle United defender Mike Williamson, beat another Gateshead player before he curled into the top corner.

It was a stunning effort and no fluke according to Embleton. He said: “Josh doesn’t score simply goals and it’s funny because it’s getting to the stage now where you almost expect it when he gets into those positions.

“It’s something the manager has put onto him that we want him to be more of a threat in and around the area and he does work on his finishing.

“He is either out doing extra sessions in the morning with Danny Webb or staying out after training and doing stuff by himself or with others, so it’s not a fluke. It’s fully deserved.”

O’s head coach Edinburgh celebrated a year in charge last Thursday and one of his big success stories is Koroma.

Before Edinburgh’s arrival on November 29 2017, the Orient academy graduate appeared to have lost his way and was out of favour under previous boss Steve Davis.

Embleton, when he was in interim charge, handed the attacker a lifeline, but a rare start at Torquay United on November 25 resulted in a 3-0 loss for O’s and a 62nd-minute substitution for Koroma.

At this point his confidence was shot and it looked like he would fail to fulfil the potential which saw him score a hat-trick at Newport County in March 2017.

Thankfully Edinburgh recognised his talent and after handing him a chance away to Dagenham & Redbridge on January 1, the exceptionally gifted youngster has not looked back and now has seven goals this season and is an England C international.

“He has the bit between his teeth and the gaffer has been here a year and if you look at the situation Josh was in this time last year, he has come a long way,” Embleton said.

“Physically he can cope now. He will tire towards the end like the rest of the boys, but we know we can move him into a position where he can protect us defensively as well as have the energy and that wonderful one-v-one ability in the final third.”

Orient know Football League clubs will be interested in Koroma, but he is enjoying his football again and only signed a new deal this summer which will keep him under contract until the summer of 2020.

Embleton added: “You always worry when your players are doing well and being the team at the top of the league everyone will be looking at a lot of them.

“Certainly given Josh’s age, the performances he continues to put in and the elements to his game he has added this season he will turn heads, but it is something we should be proud of because of the type of performances he continues to put in.

“It is something we have to expect and he will not be the only one in our squad who people will be keen on, but that’s part of being in the position we are in.”

The way Koroma is playing, scouts will be flocking to watch him, but he will be aware the most important thing at his age is to be playing regularly with a smile on his face. He’s certainly doing that at Orient!

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