Ross Embleton pleased to see Marvin Ekpiteta impress on home debut for Leyton Orient
PUBLISHED: 14:00 10 April 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
The former East Thurrock United centre back produced an assured display in the 4-1 win over Barrow
Leyton Orient assistant Ross Embleton praised Marvin Ekpiteta after the defender made his home debut for the club during Saturday’s 4-1 win over Barrow.
The 22-year-old was introduced in the 25th minute after Josh Coulson sustained a toe injury with the Bluebirds leading 1-0.
Orient turned the game around, however, with Ekpiteta producing a solid display on just his second outing for the club.
Embleton said: “I was really pleased for Marvin. He has worked really hard since he has come to the club.
“He has only come from the level below, but he has come into a full-time environment and the manager is very particular about the intensity and the way we train, so we knew it would be a big step for him.
“We thought it would be the beginning of pre-season when we would up his intensity to help him adapt to what we want and need.
“Circumstances meant he had to come back into the group a little bit earlier than everyone predicted, but he has worked really hard and applied himself properly in everything he does.
“He has slowly got up to scratch with what the manager wants and how we train every day and the technical elements of training and recently we have started to see him impose himself on the group.
“I was really pleased with him in both areas against Barrow, but especially at the back where he won his headers.”
Orient had initially hoped Coulson’s injury was not serious, but it has been confirmed it is a broken toe.
The former Cambridge United centre back is unlikely to play again this season, so that will mean more opportunities for Ekpiteta and Dan Happe.
Another youngster looking to earn another chance this weekend after impressing on Saturday is Josh Koroma.
The teenager scored after three minutes to put O’s 2-1 up against Barrow and helped lay the foundations for Macauley Bonne’s late brace to add some gloss to the scoreline.
Embleton has worked with the academy graduate all season and has noticed a major improvement since Justin Edinburgh took over on November 29.
He said: “Josh’s goal means the exact same as a goal which goes into the top corner and I’m really pleased for him.
“Since the manager has been here, he has had a real good attitude and he looks trimmer and he’s got that little edge to him.
“There’s a lot of competition for places in the wide areas where he has performed for us more often than not, but we also know that he’s got that string to his bow where he can go and play up at the top end of the pitch.
“He’s got the energy, the legs and that pace to do that, so it’s nice to see him get on the end of a shoulder into the top corner.”
After Saturday’s efforts, Ekpiteta and Koroma will hope to start for O’s this weekend away to National League leaders Macclesfield Town.