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O’s head coach lauds quality of midfielder Clay

PUBLISHED: 12:00 20 August 2018

Leyton Orient midfielder Craig Clay wins the ball from Boreham Wood opponent Connor Smith (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient midfielder Craig Clay wins the ball from Boreham Wood opponent Connor Smith (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

Justin Edinburgh praised Craig Clay after the victory over Boreham Wood and provided an update on James Brophy

Leyton Orient winger James Dayton is fouled by Boreham Wood defender Jamal Fyfield (pic: Simon O'Connor).Leyton Orient winger James Dayton is fouled by Boreham Wood defender Jamal Fyfield (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh hailed the performance of Craig Clay after Saturday’s 1-0 win over Boreham Wood in the National League.

The midfielder, who joined the club in the summer of 2017, produced a competitive display in the centre of the pitch.

Clay won a number of tackles and also used the ball wisely to follow up a solid outing at Maidstone United on Tuesday.

After criticism from some quarters during the early weeks of the season, the 26-year-old received high praise from his manager on Saturday.

“Craig Clay is the first player on my team sheet week in, week out,” Edinburgh said, when asked about his display against Boreham Wood.

“If you worked with Craig or played with him, you would say the same thing. He does what it says on the tin.

“He is made for this league. He understands this league and this was his best game for us in possession.

“But if he was the complete player would he be here? Probably not, but for me he has been fantastic and is the first on my team sheet.”

Edinburgh will now have a full week to work with his players ahead of a trip up north to face Gateshead on Saturday.

After playing last Tuesday and the Tuesday before, the Orient manager is happy to have more time on the training ground with his squad over the coming days.

He added: “I am pleased with the victory over Boreham Wood and the manner of the result because it makes having a clear midweek very good.

“Spirits are high, everyone left the stadium on a positive note and it gives us some respite ahead of our Saturday-Monday games coming up.”

Orient will host Dover Athletic on Bank Holiday Monday (August 27) two days after a clash with Gateshead and the congested fixture schedule will demand a lot from the E10 squad.

The O’s will be without James Brophy for the games, but remain hopeful the winger will not be out for too long.

“It is a hamstring injury,” Edinburgh said. “We didn’t fear the worst when we brought him off at Maidstone, but a scan has shown there is a slight tear in the hamstring.

“Obviously it is a big blow, but what we have been able to assemble during my time here is a squad that can deal with his absence.

“James Dayton showed this on Saturday and we had Jobi McAnuff come back in, so, as much as ‘Brophs’ is a fantastic player, we were able to win the game without him.”

Edinburgh concluded: “It should be a matter of weeks for ‘Brophs’. We don’t expect it to be too long.”

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