Orient boss Slade expects to sign a striker by the weekend

Orient manager Russell Slade believes his summer search for a striker will be over by the weekend.

The O’s return from their pre-season tour of Finland on Friday and Slade hopes that he will have signed a new forward by the time his side travel to Victoria Road on Saturday for a pre-season friendly.

Speaking from the club’s base in Seinajoki he said: “We are getting close to a deal now and we will just have to wait and see what happens over the next couple of days.”

Slade has been keen to sign two strikers during the summer, after top scorer Scott McGleish and Ryan Jarvis were released at the end of last season.

The O’s boss recently captured much-travelled striker Jamie Cureton, who topped the scoring charts at Exeter last season.

But Slade, who also has Alex Revell and Jonathan Tehoue, is keen to add another forward to provide competition for places and with just two weeks to go before their League One campaign, the O’s boss wants things sorted quickly.

“I want to get my squad in place as soon as possible,” said Slade.

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The O’s chief has already signed Scott Cuthbert, Leon McSweeney, Cureton and Marc Laird and another striker will be the last piece of the jigsaw.

“Hopefully, things will be sorted by the end of the week, maybe before we play at Dagenham,” said Slade.

“Then, that will be just about it, apart from bringing in a couple of loan players.”

The Orient chief has been pleased with the way things have been going on the club’s tour of Finland.

“It’s been a good trip so far and in terms of building a team spirit it’s been excellent,” he said.

As well as the club’s four summer signings, trialists Kieran Djilali, who started his career at Crystal Palace, Matthew Grieve, a former Newcastle United defender and Reading centre back Jack Mills, have all made the trip.

The League One side started their tour with a game against Ilves in Tampere on Friday night and chalked up a 3-2 win.

Dean Cox, Alex Revell and Charlie Daniels were on target to set up the success after the home side twice came back to level.

Midfielder Jimmy Smith was forced to sit out the match, after he was given a one-match ban following his sending-off in the club’s first pre-season match at Braintree last Tuesday.

After the game Slade admitted: “It was a good workout. We’re in the early throes of getting the team as fit as we possibly can and the match served a fantastic purpose.”

O’s travelled to Seinajoki for the second leg of their tour on Monday and were due to play SJK last night (Tuesday).

Like Ilves, SJK play in the third tier of Finnish football and have dropped just four points from their 14 matches to date.

Orient complete their tour tomorrow night against FF Jaro and fly home on Friday before playing Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.

“We will take each game as it comes when we’re selecting the team. The aim is to make sure everyone is fit come August 6,” said Slade.

“Charlie Daniels is suffering with a bug and we have a couple of minor knocks, but nothing serious and I hope it stays that way.”