Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh backing Dan Happe to impress again versus Dagenham & Redbridge

PUBLISHED: 08:00 01 January 2018

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh is all smiles (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh is all smiles (pic: Simon O'Connor).

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The Orient boss discusses his teenage defender, the prospect of facing John Still’s Daggers again and Alex Lawless

Justin Edinburgh is confident Leyton Orient centre back Dan Happe will rise to the occasion this afternoon when the O’s visit Dagenham & Redbridge.

The Brisbane Road club head to Victoria Road off the back of a 1-0 defeat at home to Bromley on Saturday.

But optimism and confidence is still high after playing 86 minutes with 10-men at the weekend in the National League.

Edinburgh had selected Bondz N’Gala to start over Happe, but the Daggers loanee was sent off with four minutes played and Happe came on soon after and produced a solid display against Bromley.

After helping Orient keep a clean sheet during a 2-0 win over Dagenham on Boxing Day, the teenager will look to help the O’s earn another positive result today.

“It was a big decision, but one I felt was right because I want to bring Dan in and out when we are winning games, so he is always coming back in on a high,” explained Edinburgh, when asked about dropping Happe for N’Gala.

“I don’t want the young boys coming out of the team for any other reason than someone a little bit more experienced coming in. I don’t want it to be about their performance and Dan is growing in statue and has absolutely got a big, big future.”

Orient have got the better of Dagenham this season, holding them to a goalless draw in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup on October 14 at Victoria Road before winning the replay 1-0 on October 17.

The O’s then defeated their local rivals 2-0 last Tuesday, but Edinburgh knows it will be difficult against John Still’s men this afternoon.

He added: “We have a tough game to come against Dagenham, but we go there with real belief and desire because we feel hurt after Bromley.”

One person Orient will hope to have available for today is Alex Lawless after he produced another impressive performance on Saturday.

The former Luton Town midfielder was superb from start to finish against Bromley and has been so consistent over the last four weeks.

Edinburgh said: “Alex covered every blade of grass and I can’t remember him losing a first or second ball or giving it away.

“Craig Clay and him from start to finish ran the game and it was another excellent performance from Alex, top, top drawer.”

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