It was meant to be the signing that took Leyton Orient into a new bracket of National League teams, but it has simply not been that way.
Jay Simpson’s return to the O’s was met with much fanfare from fans, and other supporters were convinced that the return of a player who is more than capable of playing in the Football League would all but confirm Orient’s promotion to League Two, but the striker’s impact in east London since re-joining has been lacklustre.
One goal in six starts is not what many would have expected from a striker who once hit 25 goals for the O’s in a season a few years prior, and Justin Edinburgh’s persistence to keep the 30-year-old striker in the starting XI heading into the final games could prove costly for the east London side.
With Macauley Boone finding his scoring form heading into the final four matches, Edinburgh might be tempted to keep Simpson on the bench as an option to bring on for the final 30 minutes, and with each passing game becoming more and more important this could be the ideal tactic for the O’s.
Simpson is a clearly talented player and someone who can easily do a job in League Two or even League One, but joining his former club out of shape after playing barely any football for the past year has damaged Orient’s chances of promotion.
The 30-year-old’s return has not gone to plan, and Edinburgh needs to realise that keeping him out of the starting XI for the remainder of the season is the right move to make if the O’s are to clinch the National League title.