Full-back Ling determined to play a part in O's journey
PUBLISHED: 15:00 04 December 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
The England C international praised Myles Judd and insisted everyone in the Orient squad knows the job is nowhere near done
Sam Ling has only featured eight times for Leyton Orient during the 2018/19 season, but he wants to help his boyhood club return to the Football League now he is fit again after a spell out.
The defender has struggled with injuries this campaign, but even when fit he has not been able to oust Myles Judd from the right-back berth.
Both youngsters came through the O’s academy and have had chances this season, but after starting Orient’s first three games this term, Ling found himself out of the starting XI.
He sustained an ankle injury soon after and once he did return to fitness, Judd’s form ensured he was not a regular anymore.
Last weekend’s National League clash at home to Gateshead saw Ling get a chance, though, due to Judd picking up an injury, and despite rustiness, the 21-year-old will aim to kick on now.
The ex-Dagenham & Redbridge defender said: “For me, compared to last season, it has been a sticky start to the campaign.
“I got an ankle injury, then played and did it again. Hopefully now I can start to kick on and get more minutes under my belt and be a part of this journey we’re on.”
Since Ling rejoined Orient from Daggers back in February, the battle between the defender and Judd has been tight.
Over the past 10 months they have both produced fine displays when fit and the duo would most likely be regulars in virtually all other teams in the division.
As it is, the two former Orient youth-teamers are having to battle it out with each other, but there is a lot of respect between the pair.
“Yes, it is all good competition between me and ‘Juddy’ and we both want to play,” Ling said, after the 2-0 win over Gateshead.
“We are both good enough to play, so whether it is me playing or him playing, I am confident we will do the job.”
Ling contributed towards the latest Orient victory on Saturday as goals from Josh Koroma and Macauley Bonne earned a hard-fought triumph to keep O’s top of the table.
He admitted afterwards he was not at his best, but the England C international was rushed back a week earlier than planned due to Judd’s hamstring injury in training.
After some shaky moments, Ling will now aim to get a run of games and if he does and rediscovers the form he showed at Dagenham, he could be a key player for Orient.
The defender finished: “We know what we are capable of, we know the job is nowhere near done, so we have to carry on doing what we are doing, keep the good times rolling and get out of this league.”