Orient star is setting his sights on another FA Cup adventure

McSweeney wants to be part of the action this time around

Last season Leon McSweeney sat at home watching Orient cause an FA Cup shock on the television when they held mighty Arsenal to a draw at The Matchroom.

Now, following his summer move to Brisbane Road, the former Hartlepool man is hoping the club can go on another glorious run this season.

But McSweeney hopes that Orient will not feature too prominently on television at the weekend.

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The O’s launch their FA Cup campaign against Blue Square Bet South side Bromley on Saturday and are odds-on favourites to progress through to the second round.

“Everyone expects us to win, but if we get caught with our pants down, then we will be on at the start of the FA Cup highlights programme,” said the Cork-born defender.

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“We will happily settle for a little slot near the end.”

The O’s are unbeaten in eight league games and while McSweeney would relish the opportunity to try and keep that run going and help move Orient further away from the relegation zone, he acknowledges that the FA Cup still hold special memories for the players.

“It’s fantastic. It’s great for clubs like Orient,” he said. “And it showed last year what it can bring. There was a lot of media attention and the lads had a taste of going to the Emirates.

“That’s the dream and I’ve never experienced it before and I would love the chance to play against one of the big boys,” said the 28-year-old.

While Orient powered their way into the fifth round last season, McSweeney’s run ended at the third-round stage.

“I’ve never got past the third round before,” reflected McSweeney, who has also played for Stockport and Scarborough.

“And that was against Watford last year. We did well for 60 minutes and then they blitzed us.”

With Pools out of the competition, McSweeney was able to watch Orient’s clash against the Gunners on the television.

“I remember watching these lads play on the telly and when Jonathan Tehoue scored the equaliser the roof nearly came off the stand,” he said.

“I don’t want to count my chickens, but it would be nice to have a cup run.

“I was watching it. Little Leyton Orient against the big boys. That’s the kind of thing the Cup can bring.”

Orient go into the game having had to settle for a point against his former club Hartlepool at the weekend.

But McSweeney believes Orient are more solid at the back than they were at the start of the season and added: “We’re happy with the progress we’re making.”

Although he admitted the O’s were none too impressive at the start of Saturday’s game.

“We rode our luck during the first 20 minutes,” he said.

“Hartlepool had a goal not given, but I thought it was in. I was in a good position to see it.

“They started like a house on fire and it was the kick up the bum we needed. It was a massive wake-up call, but thankfully we settled down after George Porter scored.

“We let ourselves down with the goal we conceded, but the draw keeps the momentum there.”

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