Dawson hopes to be fit for Gillingham cup clash

FA Cup second round: Leyton Orient v Gillingham Saturday 3pm

Orient skipper Stephen Dawson hopes to be back in contention for Saturday’s FA Cup second round clash with Gillingham.

The midfielder missed last weekend’s game at Sheffield Wednesday after picking up a calf injury in training.

“It was a simple little tackle, but enough to keep me out,” said Dawson, who returned to training this week and added: “Hopefully I will be back in contention.”

Dawson played a key role in helping the O’s reach the fifth round last season, before they lost to Arsenal after a replay.

Although Orient start as favourites to overcome Gillingham and book a place in the third round, Dawson expects a tough battle against the League Two side.

“We certainly won’t be counting any chickens because Gillingham are having a good season,” he said.

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“It’s no surprise to see them up there in the play-off places. They have already beaten Bournemouth after a replay and I’m sure not too many people would have fancied them to do that, so they will come here full of confidence.”

Orient boss Russell Slade, who signed a new two-and-half-year contract this week, added: “Although there is a slight doubt, we hope Stephen will make it.”

New loan signing Lee Cook also stands by to make his home debut: “We have got clearance from QPR for him to play,” said the Orient manager.

While Tom Clarke, on loan from Huddersfield, can also feature in Saturday’s game.

The Terriers would not allow him to play in the first round, but after they crashed out of the competition at Swindon, Huddersfield have given permission for him to play.

If you can’t make Saturday’s FA Cup match, you can follow the action on www.london24.com/facup