Craig Clay is keen to add more goals to his game after coming close to opening his account for the season against Hartlepool United.

The Leyton Orient midfielder almost found the top corner when he ran on to Macauley Bonne’s intelligent lay-off on the edge of the area, but his effort went inches over the bar.

Clay has put in a series of consistent displays for Orient this season and was excellent against Hartlepool last Saturday, winning back possession on countless occasions in the centre of the park.

He has, however, not trusted himself at times in the final third, with the 26-year-old opting to pass to James Alabi instead of shooting from a promising position against Maidenhead United early on.

Clay found the back of the net four times for the O’s last campaign and thought he had added to that tally against Salford City on the opening day of the season when his deflected strike from Jobi McAnuff’s corner beat Chris Neal.

However, that effort later went down as a Liam Hogan own goal and Clay says he is working on his shooting in training with Orient coach Danny Webb.

Asked whether he’d like to add more goals to his game, Clay said: “It’s something I’m working on at the minute with Danny Webb in training. I want to add goals to my game.

“I’ve had a couple of chances today. The first one, I think I’ve done the right thing but maybe leant back a bit and the second one I’ve snatched at it.

“I’m a bit too desperate to get that goal at the minute to take the pressure off me. But I’ll keep working at it in training and Danny Webb will keep doing finishing drills with me, so hopefully I can get a few goals after this.”

There is added competition in Orient’s midfield this season with Dale Gorman and Alex Lawless both putting pressure on Clay as well as Charlie Lee for their spots in the side.

Gorman, who moved to East London from Stevenage in the summer, is a Northern Ireland Under-21 international and has looked accomplished during his seven cameo appearances from the bench so far.

Experienced midfielder Lawless, meanwhile, has struggled for game time in recent weeks, having started the O’s first two matches of the season against both Salford and Ebbsfleet United.

With Lee also excelling in recent weeks and Jobi McAnuff’s versatility, it means there is plenty of competition for places in Orient’s midfield.

Clay believes that competition has aided his performances this campaign and the midfielder also admitted he feels fitter after enjoying a positive pre-season with the O’s.

He said: “The people we’ve got who are sitting on the side lines keep you at it. You can’t have a games rest because the likes of Lawless and Gorman in training are unbelievable. They’re ready to come straight in, so the squad depth is unbelievable and it keeps us on our toes.

“I feel a lot better this year. Last year was hard with all those games without a win. I’m not one to make excuses but I moved down at first and I didn’t have my flat sorted for the first few months. A lot was going on with me personally.

“But I feel I’ve had a good pre-season and I feel like we are a lot more together this year. It looks like it’s all coming together so touch wood that we can carry this on.”