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Leyton Orient have problems, as injury issues begin to mount and Steve Davis’ team suffer back-to-back defeats

PUBLISHED: 09:00 13 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:14 13 September 2017

Leyton Orient's Craig Clay shakes hands with Boreham Wood goalkeeper Grant Smith after the full time whistle at Meadow Park (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient's Craig Clay shakes hands with Boreham Wood goalkeeper Grant Smith after the full time whistle at Meadow Park (pic: Simon O'Connor).

07958 573219 simon.oconnor@virgin.net

George Elokobi unlikely to be fit to face Hartlepool United at the weekend while Josh Coulson facing a race to be fit in time

Leyton Orient defender Josh Coulson slides in to win the ball from Maidstone United midfielder Reece Prestedge (pic: Simon O'Connor).Leyton Orient defender Josh Coulson slides in to win the ball from Maidstone United midfielder Reece Prestedge (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Steve Davis will hope his Leyton Orient team can show they can cope without the services of George Elokobi and Josh Coulson for the foreseeable future after both were forced off during last weekend’s loss.

The O’s endured a difficult time on Saturday, as they lost 2-0 at Boreham Wood in the National League and also saw both of their centre-backs pick up injuries.

Coulson came off in the 67th minute with a groin problem and Elokobi limped off with 85 on the clock after pulling his hamstring, so it seems they could now be set for a spell on the sidelines during a busy period for Orient.

“With a hamstring it always depends on the severity of it and the grade, but it is usually two or three weeks at a minimum,” said Davis.

“It can sometimes be longer and he is not a young man, so it may take a little bit longer to heal.

“Josh’s was a groin problem and deep into it, so I don’t know about that from a timescale point of view.

“We now need to look at that area and we have (Jamie) Sendles-White, who is raring to go and fit and we have Michael Clark and people like that able to come in.

“Maybe now we can see how strong our back-up team is.”

Sendles-White and Clark were handed a start on Tuesday night at home to Halifax Town and the injuries appear to be taking their toll on Davis’ side as they lost 3-0 with the duo experiencing a tough evening.

Craig Clay in action for Leyton Orient against Halifax Town (pic: Simon O'Connor).Craig Clay in action for Leyton Orient against Halifax Town (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Charlie Lee had surgery on Monday after suffering a serious knee injury in training last month, so Orient have lost three key players in recent weeks, while James Dayton missed the visit of the Shaymen due to a tight hamstring.

The aforementioned players all have a wealth of experience and Davis will hope their replacements can step up and deliver.

Craig Clay has been consistent since replacing Lee in the centre of the pitch and Sendles-White and Clark have an opportunity now.

If Orient want to challenge for promotion this season and return to League Two at the first time of asking, then they need to be able to deal with injury problems.

Every team will go through a period where they are missing important players and the best squads stand up to the challenge.

The onus is on Clark and Sendles-White to deliver and make it hard for Coulson and Elokobi to get back into the team.

Orient’s young defenders have talent and potential, but lack experience and the only way they will get that at O’s is by taking this type of chance.

Last night was a tough introduction to life at National League level for the pair and they weren’t helped out enough by their team-mates.

This is now a serious test of character for Orient with the club suffering back-to-back defeats for the first time since the end of last season.

Nobody expected the National League to be easy, but equally O’s were not predicted to suffer four defeats in their first 10 games.

Inconsistency was always likely in the early months of the season with so many new faces, yet that cannot constantly be used as an excuse. Orient have to improve and quickly.

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