Leyton Orient assistant coach Ross Embleton heaped praise on match-winner Josh Koroma after the 20-year-old inspired the O’s to a 2-0 victory over Gateshead.

The win extended the east Londoners’ unbeaten run to nine matches and Koroma was at the heart of everything Orient did well in overcoming a stubborn Heed side.

He broke the deadlock on the hour mark and demonstrated why he is so highly rated by those at the Breyer Group Stadium, proving to be Orient's most potent threat.

“He’s getting to that stage where you’re expecting of him when he gets into those positions,” Embleton said.

“It’s something that the manager has put onto him to say he needs to be more of a threat in and around the box. He works on his finishing, whether it be out with Danny Webb, the extra sessions we do in the morning, or if he stays out.”

Koroma had struggled to hold down a place under predecessor Steve Davis but has flourished since Justin Edinburgh replaced him in the dug-out 12 months ago and appears to be thriving in a confident O’s side after netting his seventh goal of the campaign.

Embleton believes he has come on leaps and bounds in that time and his situation is now incomparable to what it was this time last year.

But the O’s assistant recognised that performances like that attract the attention of would-be suitors who will share the view that Koroma has a bright future ahead of him.

“I think he’s got the bit between his teeth. The gaffer’s been here a year now, and if you look at the situation Josh Koroma was in this time last year he’s come a hell of a long way,” Embleton said.

“He can protect us defensively as well as having that energy and that wonderful one-v-one ability in the final third.

“Certainly you’re always worried when you’re players are doing well. Josh at his age, and the job he’s putting in, he’s going to turn heads. It’s something that we should be proud of.”

Orient did have to bide their time though, and Gateshead could easily have levelled late in proceedings before Macauley Bonne tucked home the clincher in stoppage time.

However, the character displayed and the defensive rigidity that has characterised the season to this point was something Embleton was quick to recognise, praising the entire defensive unit who registered an 11th clean sheet of the season.

“It’s something that they all deserve huge credit on. It’s a massive element of what we’re about. We enjoy defending our box, when we have stages where we look like we’re under a little bit of pressure, I look at our back four and our goalkeeper.

“They’re happy to defend those areas. First and foremost you’ve got to be aggressive.”

Orient’s attentions will now turn to forthcoming matches against Boreham Wood and Chesterfield as they seek to ensure they remain top of the pile ahead of a busy Christmas period.

With seven points from their last three games and just one defeat in 23, confidence is unsurprisingly sky-high and Embleton is pleased with the points return.

“When you group together three games like we’ve had in the last week it’s tough,” Embleton said.

“So it’s important to try to sign off that week with a good feeling. To take seven points from the week, we’re happy with that.”