Alex Lawless shows Leyton Orient what they’ve been missing, but he must do it week in, week out
PUBLISHED: 08:00 11 December 2017
Simon O'Connor Photography
The 32-year-old put in easily his best display in an O’s shirt at the weekend after being given time to get back to full fitness
Leyton Orient turned the form guide on its head last Saturday with an excellent 4-1 victory over Sutton United, who were leaders of the National League before the game kicked-off.
Justin Edinburgh’s team showed the type of fight and mettle which has been lacking for months and nobody epitomised it better at the weekend than Alex Lawless.
The former Luton Town and Yeovil Town midfielder has not set the world alight since joining the O’s in the summer, but was excellent against the U’s.
Lawless was first to every ball alongside partner Craig Clay in the middle of the park and both played a crucial role in Orient ending their run of 15 games without a league win.
Edinburgh was impressed with Lawless, 32, who delivered easily his best display in an O’s shirt, the new head coach said: “I think experience is so invaluable and he showed that against Sutton. He just knew when he needed to turn the ball on and when he needed to put his foot on it.
“He played the game and in times like this and on the run we are on, we need them type of players and we got a performance from Alex. He was excellent.”
The question most O’s fans will be asking is where has that player been all season? Before Saturday we had seen the ex-York City midfielder on 18 occasions since his summer move.
At times Lawless has imposed himself on games, with matches against Aldershot Town and Gillingham springing to mind, but more often than not he hasn’t.
But from the first whistle on Saturday he was all over his opponents like a rash and also so intelligent in and out of possession, and the reason for his fine showing might be down to the fact he was fully fit.
Lawless suffered a hip problem at the end of August and has been troubled by that as well as a groin injury for a long time.
Although the experienced midfielder has played plenty of games this term, I’d imagine he hasn’t felt 100 per cent fit since the beginning of the season.
It was his groin again which forced him off at half time during the 2-2 draw with Chester back on November 21 and though he was not able to play at Torquay United a few days later, he probably could have featured at Solihull Moors on December 2 if really needed because he’s played when not 100 per cent in the past.
Yet Lawless was given time to get fully fit and Orient reaped the rewards against Sutton. The challenge for him and O’s now is to do it consistently every week.