The standard of League Two has improved in the time that Leyton Orient have been away from it, says head coach Ross Embleton.

Orient spent two years in the National League following their relegation from the fourth tier in 2017, but since coming back into the league at the start of this season, Embleton feels that the general athleticism of players has improved as well as the technical ability of those at this level.

He said: “League Two is better. People are better at football, in the simplest terms possible. Last year you’d look at a full back who’d put the ball out of play three out of five times in a game whereas now I think the standards are higher, people don’t make as many unforced errors, people are much more comfortable on the pitch.

“Athleticism is key but I think the technical ability of players now is really important. I think George Marsh probably paints that good picture. Is George a Tottenham athlete? Maybe, maybe not, we’ll see as he grows and gets older, but at this level he’s a very good athlete.

“He gets around the pitch really well, he’s tough, he can tackle, he can head it, for a lad of his physical stature. At the same time, he’s comfortable on the ball he can receive it, he can play good passes, and I think that’s a good example of the type of player we might be looking at.”

The O’s coach feels that the change in dynamic in League Two has filtered down from the top levels where “not one person is out of shape”.

He continued: “There’s not many people now that you look at in the opposition and you think ‘he looks a bit slow’ or ‘he looks a bit stiff’ or ‘he’s not very mobile’, or if they are they are players that have played at the very top so their positional sense is unbelievable.

“I think athleticism is a real key now. They don’t necessarily need to be able to run like James Brophy or jump like Conor Wilkinson but I think they need good physical attributes to be able to get around the pitch.”

Players of that ilk will no doubt be on Embleton’s radar as he looks to strengthen his squad ahead of the second half of the season, but being new to the role, making some of those tough decisions is still something to get used to.

He said: “With coaching, I’ll sit in any room and debate my point and go out and try and show people what I mean, and I back myself to do that. Does that make you a good manager? Definitely not and I think history probably tells you you can be or you can’t be, but it’s not the same role.

“I’ve never had to be particularly responsible or play that final big say on who you bring in, who you let go. It’s different, it’s unique and a bit like the role in itself since I’ve been doing it, you only really work out how comfortable you are or how well you’ve done or if your decisions were right until you actually make them.”