Orient boss ready to make changes

Jones and Cuthbert could return after long-term injuries

Manager Russell Slade is set to make changes tonight (Wednesday) when Orient travel to Northampton Town and look to book a place in the Area semi-finals of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

The O’s are enjoying their best winning run for 50 years, having recorded six successive victories and will be looking to make it a Magnificent Seven tonight.

While Johnstone’s Paint Trophy games are often low-key affairs, it could be a big game for goalkeeper Jamie Jones and defender Scott Cuthbert, as both are likely to make starts following long-term injuries.

Jones missed the first game of the season against Charlton Athletic in the Capital One Cup, but returned to play the next three matches.

But he suffered a recurrence of a shoulder injury that sidelined him for a long spell last season and has not started a first-team game since.

He returned on the bench against Oldham Athletic 10 games ago, but has been kept out of the side by the impressive Ryan Allsop.

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The game gives Slade the opportunity to throw Jones back into action, while Cuthbert also seems likely to start for the first time since August.

The defender suffered a hamstring injury at Tranmere in the first league game and his only taste of first-team action since was when he came on as a substitute for the last few minutes of Sunday’s FA Cup tie at Alfreton.

Gary Sawyer returns to the squad after suspension, but skipper Nathan Clarke is still missing with an ankle injury.

The last time O’s played on a Wednesday night, against Gloucester City in the FA Cup, Slade put star striker Kevin Lisbie, midfielder Martin Rowlands and winger Lee Cook on the bench and he could do the same again tonight – although new loan signing Alex Smith is set to keep his place.

However, the O’s boss will not be able to make too many changes as under competition rules clubs must start with six of their 11 leading appearance makers, or six of those who played in the last game.