Edinburgh set to have even more competition for places at Harrogate
PUBLISHED: 16:00 18 September 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
The O’s should have James Brophy fit and raring to go for Saturday’s crunch clash
Justin Edinburgh will have more selection headaches to think about with wide-man James Brophy set to return to fitness for Saturday’s game.
The O’s visit National League leaders Harrogate Town this weekend and should have the former Swindon Town man available for selection.
Brophy struggled during the early part of the season with a hamstring problem and has not played for Orient since August 14 when they won 2-1 at Maidstone United.
Assistant Ross Embleton revealed he is set to return, but right-back Sam Ling remains a little bit behind with a foot injury.
He said: “James did more last week on Thursday and Friday, so he is closer than Sam right now.
“Sam is pain free when he runs, but when he strikes the ball he suffers a little bit of pain and discomfort.
“I am frustrated for Sam and frustrated for us because we would like to see him back in and around the squad to make Myles Judd’s position a little bit more competitive.
“We need to ease him back in slowly and hopefully we get more out of Sam during this coming week.”
Ling began the campaign as first-choice right-back, but he lost his place for the clash at Maidstone and then picked up a foot problem at the end of August.
It has plagued the defender since, yet he will hope to put his recent injury troubles behind him this week.
When Ling does return, it will increase the competition for places at not only right-back, but left-back too.
The former Dagenham & Redbridge defender is quite capable of playing both sides of a back four, but the form of Judd and Joe Widdowson this season has been exceptional.
Both have impressed with a number of consistent outings and it leaves Ling with a big challenge when fully fit again.
He is not the only player on the treatment table with the experienced George Elokobi still out with a grade two hamstring injury and a good few weeks away from returning to training let alone competitive action.
The popular defender has not been missed too much as Marvin Ekpiteta has shone at the heart of defence.
Fellow experienced centre back Josh Coulson hailed the potential of the former East Thurrock United defender and Judd, he said: “I have been very impressed with them.
“They both want to learn and that’s the main thing. These days some kids think they know better, but the two beside us really want to learn.
“If you tell them to do something, they instantly do it. I think they have both shown what they are about and the future is promising for them both.”