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Embleton full of praise for Orient defender Ekpiteta

PUBLISHED: 14:00 13 August 2018

Leyton Orient assistant Ross Embleton (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient assistant Ross Embleton (pic: Simon O'Connor).

07958 573219 simon.oconnor@virgin.net

Justin Edinburgh's number two discussed young defensive duo Marvin Ekpiteta and Dan Happe

Leyton Orient assistant manager Ross Embleton has talked up the potential of young centre back Marvin Ekpiteta ahead of what is likely to be an extended stint in the first-team for the 22-year-old.

George Elokobi suffered a grade two hamstring tear last Tuesday early on in the 1-1 draw at home to Ebbsfleet United.

Ekpiteta was summoned from the bench after just three minutes and impressed against Fleet and kept his place for Saturday’s game with Barrow, which ended 2-2.

After only moving to E10 in January from East Thurrock United, Embleton hailed the tall defender, who made seven appearances for O’s at the back end of last season.

“Marvin arrived at the club and absolutely hit the ground running. His attitude as a professional footballer is spot-on,” Orient’s assistant boss said.

“He gives himself the best opportunity to be the best he can be and when he goes onto the pitch he is very capable of being competitive and a warrior type defender.

“I think he can do the ugly side of the game very well and he came back in fantastic shape at the back end of last season.

“When we signed him, we loaned him straight back to East Thurrock, but because of injuries we called him back and I think it gave Marvin the opportunity to settle into the club. It gave him the opportunity to come back and fight for a place in the team.”

Although Ekpiteta is currently Josh Coulson’s defensive partner, Embleton admitted the injury to Elokobi also opens up the door for teenager Dan Happe.

The O’s academy graduate is another highly rated young centre back at the club and he was on the bench last weekend.

Discussing the prospect of making changes to the Orient starting XI and Elokobi’s time in the treatment room, Embleton said: “The ripple effect is Dan finds himself in the squad after sitting in the stands on Tuesday.

“It will be the same with any other niggles we pick up and it is important we have the opportunity to rotate players.

“We have some in the team who can’t keep doing Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, so it is vital we use the squad well.

“We won’t get too desperate and make rash changes too quickly, but we will make sure we manage the squad to keep everyone on board and working in the right direction.”

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