O’s players enjoy being leaders, says proud boss
PUBLISHED: 15:00 03 January 2019
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The east London club have been top of the table since November 17 and host Salford City this weekend
Leyton Orient take on National League title rivals Salford City on Saturday knowing whatever the result they will be top at the end of the game and Justin Edinburgh says his squad relish being league leaders.
Since a 3-1 win over Bromley back on November 17, the O’s have been at the summit and despite losses in December at Boreham Wood and Dagenham & Redbridge, they have a four-point gap over second-placed Wrexham.
Salford are five off Orient and so even if the Ammies triumph this Saturday, it will not be enough to knock the E10 outfit off their perch and Edinburgh praised his side.
“This is the new challenge,” said O’s head coach. “We are top of the league and people want to come and beat you.
“People want to raise their game against you, but I think the players have embraced the challenge and are doing very with well it.”
Orient have lost matches since they have been leaders, but Salford and Wrexham have both had much bigger wobbles, especially Graham Alexander’s side.
The Greater Manchester-based club suffered four league losses in a row in December before they bounced back on New Year’s Day to defeat the Dragons 2-0 and keep within touching distance of O’s and the Welsh outfit.
It is testament to Edinburgh and his players that Orient have still not lost back-to-back matches this season and the boss puts it down to trust and belief
He said: “It is an emotional game. There is no doubt about it and there is nothing wrong with showing emotions if they are channelled in the right way.
“I have said to the players we cannot lose our focus or trust or belief in what we have done for the first 28 games.
“It is about remaining in the moment and being composed and just continuing the trust we have in one another.”
Against Dagenham at home, O’s produced one of their best halves of the season, in the second period, but missed a hatful of chances so had to settle for a 1-0 win.
Orient did look back to their best after the hectic festive period, though, and it bodes well ahead of third-placed Salford visiting east London this weekend.
Edinburgh added: “It is a huge game, but New Year’s Day was a big game too. Salford achieved a good result, but we can only affect our own performances and our own results and we did that very well against Dagenham.”
He continued: “The chances we created were pleasing because over the last couple of games we have probably been limited in the chances we have created.
“It was a little bit nervy because we didn’t get the second, but I’m very pleased with the second half.”