Embleton excited by O's new boys Angol and Wilkinson
PUBLISHED: 16:00 15 July 2019
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The forwards have been signed to replace the goals scored by Macauley Bonne and Josh Koroma
The new League Two season starts in just under three weeks time and Leyton Orient will hope Lee Angol and Conor Wilkinson can hit the ground running with interim head coach Ross Embleton confident they will find a home at Brisbane Road.
Both have had a number of loan spells and at times struggled to settle, but O's remain positive they will flourish in E10.
Wilkinson caught the eye in the National League with Dagenham & Redbridge last season and Angol had success with Mansfield Town two years ago and the duo will aim to deliver the goods in front of goal for Orient this campaign.
Embleton explained: "When we first started weighing up who may or may not come in, it is easy to think 'we need a Macauley Bonne and Josh Koroma' but that is not always the way it has to work.
"You need the best players who are available and the best players who can come in and make an impact in the group.
"I personally have watched them both in real detail and I know how much of a threat Conor caused us last year and how much we paid respect to him in our preparation to playing Dagenham.
"We always knew Conor was a good player and if he ever became available, we would be interested and it's the same for Lee.
"People have paid a lot of money for Lee, so we know he has real quality, but he has had a couple of years where he hasn't quite found a home where he can be loved and valued. We will certainly give that to him and hopefully he hits the ground running."
Angol and Embleton have worked together at Tottenham Hotspur's academy in the past and the forward has enjoyed successful periods in his career.
He starred on loan for Boreham Wood in the Conference South in the 2014/15 term and then had success with Peterborough United in League One the following season, scoring 11 goals in the division.
Mansfield Town snapped him up for an undisclosed fee and nine goals in League Two earned him a move to Shrewsbury Town last summer in August, but he failed to settle at New Meadow and now Orient is his next fixed home.
Wilkinson has similarly turned out for several clubs on loan after permanent transfers to Bolton Wanderers and Gillingham.
He wasn't given many starting opportunities at either side, but at Dagenham showed his class to keep Peter Taylor's men up comfortable in the end.
The former Millwall trainee, along with Angol, will hope to replace the goals scored by Bonne and Koroma last season.
Orient's front pair for the 2018/19 campaign contributed 35 goals in all competitions and as a result had plenty of suitors.
Eventually Charlton Athletic won the race to sign Bonne while Koroma has signed for Huddersfield Town, meaning they will now ply their trade in the Championship.
For O's now the focus turns to keeping hold of their other bright prospects - Marvin Ekpiteta and Dan Happe.
"My biggest fear at the start of the summer was losing all four - Marvin, Dan, Josh and Macauley - and we dread that thought, but as a club at our level we have to be prepared for that and understand it could happen," Embleton said.
"Until the day we are level and on a par with those clubs, then we can go toe-to-toe with them a bit more.
"We all have to respect the fact these lads are ambitious as much as we are to build up our careers and to take the club where we want to take it to. We have to understand sometimes we are going to lose players for the good and for the bad on that ride.
"We wish Josh and Macauley all the best for the future, but we know we have signed two new players to replace them who we feel can kick on and help us in the league we are going into."
Orient fans will get another chance to see Wilkinson and Angol in action on Wednesday when they visit Hornchurch for a friendly match.