With the fixtures coming thick and fast, it’s typical that players will miss out for a whole host of reasons. Tom James, a summer signing in the door at Brisbane Road, will miss Leyton Orient’s tough trip to fourth placed Port Vale owing to suspension.
This leaves Kenny Jackett with some selection issues to attend to, with the experience of Craig Clay an expected replacement.
Jackett spoke to the East London Advertiser about the selection headache for the weekend, reiterating a need to remain focused. He stated: “That’s his fifth booking and he’ll be unavailable for one game. There are options, you have to get round these things. Injuries and suspensions do happen.”
Unlikely to crack under the pressure of one absentee, Jackett was nonchalant about the former Yeovil Town man being out for this contest: “When it comes, we’ll be organised and ready.”
However, selection issues might not allow for Jackett to quite get the consistency he desires as Orient manager. In the automatic promotion spots, but a little aggrieved at failing to score at home to Mansfield last time out. Focussing in on the Mansfield stalemate, Jackett commented: “Performance wise we were very good, and if we play like that, there was a lot right that we can build on going forward.”
Still, there’s a lot going in Orient’s favour this season so far – and with past club turmoil a distant memory – it feels time for Jackett’s men to make a substantial promotion push. This has been spearheaded by ex Millwall man Harry Smith up top, with six goals in seven for Jackett’s team.
The attacking options are plentiful, with youngster Ruel Sotiriou impressing despite a goalless cameo against The Stags: “He has dipped to head it, when there was an easy volley, but he was very good in the box. We all know that. I can tell from the reaction of the crowd they think there could be a goal so he is well rated here.”
Jackett is also bolstered by some returning faces to his side for Vale away, namely Callum Reilly who signed from AFC Wimbledon in the summer.
Even with Tom James out for this weekend’s match, there’s no reason why Orient can’t pick up a decent result on their travels here. Losing one out of their first nine, a goalless draw at home to Mansfield looks to be an unfortunate blip as all sides suffer. With James back after this one, Barrow and Walsall in their next two after Port Vale provide opportunities to reaffirm their promotion push before Forest Green Rovers come to Brisbane Road.