Leyton Orient boss Jackett full of praise for Sotiriou after Magpies win

Leyton Orient players celebrate Ruel Sotiriou's (centre) first goal for his side during the pre-seas

Leyton Orient players celebrate Ruel Sotiriou's (centre) first goal for his side during the pre-season friendly match at The Breyer Group Stadium, London. - Credit: PA

Leyton Orient manager Kenny Jackett was full of praise for young striker Ruel Sotiriou who stepped up with the winner against Maidenhead United in pre-season. 

The O’s continued their momentum as they recorded their first win of pre-season with a 2-1 victory away to the Magpies. 

They made a few changes from the previous game, with Matt Young and Sotiriou earning starts, whilst former Oldham forward Marcus Barnes also started under a short-term contract.

Orient were without the likes Paul Smyth and Harry Smith who are currently self-isolating while Aaron Drinan came off injured.

“He (Ruel Sotiriou) had the opportunity and opportunities today (Saturday). Aaron Drinan injury is a worry, we don’t know how bad that will be, we hope it won’t be too bad,” Jackett said. 

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“Ruel stepped up in the absence of both Harry Smith and Aaron Drinan. Also Paul Smyth as well, he’s had a good last couple of weeks. Not just his goal, but he showed physically what he is capable of, in terms of affecting a men’s game. 

“Sometimes that is quite a big barrier for a young player to make. I was pleased with that.” 

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The former Portsmouth manager was pleased overall with the performance from his squad as they continue to prepare for the upcoming League Two season.

“It was very good, the boys dug in, particular second half when there was a lot of changes. Conceding the equaliser was disappointing," he added.

“I did think they were coming back into the game at that stage, but we found the move that got us the winner, and for Jayden Sweeney to earn the penalty was good and then for Ruel, who had a very good game, put the winner away and we managed to hang on. 

“Overall in the first half I felt we were worth our lead, we played well without quite getting it right in the final third, but we got into good areas and moved the ball well and deserved to be 1-0 up.

“Second half they did come back into it, but we were pleased in the end that the players found a good few moves to get us into positions to be able to get the winner we needed.”

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