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Slade hails Orient’s character after draw at Peterborough

20:43 10 May 2014

Orient manager Russell Slade. Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

Orient manager Russell Slade. Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

EMPICS Sport

Orient manager Russell Slade was full of praise for his side’s character as they fought back to draw the first leg of their play-off semi-final atPeterborough.

Moses Odubajo’s late equaliser means the teams head to Brisbane Road on Tuesday night all square with a place in the Wembley showpiece up for grabs.

The O’s manager was even disappointed they did not leave London Road with a victory after dominating the second half.

Slade said: “We never give up. We’ve got work ethic, character, togetherness and desire.

“Those are the qualities we’ve shown as a group all season and we showed them in the second half.

“I’m proud of them and on another day, on a better pitch, the game might have got away from Peterborough.”

English football’s leading scorer Britt Assombalonga gave Posh the lead after a quarter of an hour – looking suspiciously offside – before the O’s came back strongly after the break.

Peterborough goalkeeper Bobby Olejnik was named man of the match – an indication of the dominance the visitors held over their hosts.

The two teams were separated by 12 points in the League One table at the end of the season but Slade admits the tie is delicately poised. Posh have already won in E10 this season.

“There’s still a lot of work to do,” he said. “It’s not a time for celebration.

“It’s a time for digging in, recovering and getting ready for Tuesday.

“It’s no good wishing we were at Wembley. Wishing never won anything.”

Orient are looking to book their first Wembley appearance since 1999. On the other hand, Peterborough have a perfect record in the play-offs, with three successful campaigns.

The winners will face Preston North End or Rotherham for a place in the Championship, with the teams also drawing 1-1 in the first leg at Deepdale.

Slade was delighted with the impact of substitute Shaun Batt, who had a hand in Odubajo’s equaliser minutes after coming off the bench.

He said: “You hope your subs are going to have an impact.

“Shaun Batt did particularly well in us getting the goal. He produced on the big stage.”

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