Leyton Orient v AFC Telford: The inside track on FA Trophy opponents
Steve Box spoke to George Sessions, Leyton Orient correspondent for Archant London, to get the lowdown on the side that stand between Telford and Wembley.
Orient are top of the National League, how important is success in the Trophy for them?
Even though the National League is the number one priority this season, Justin Edinburgh has always been a strong advocate of the FA Trophy.
Last season he used it to give the O’s something to play for aside from a mid-table finish. And this season, from the first-round draw he talked up his ambition to reach Wembley.
Some were worried about fixture congestion, but Justin has always maintained this is a competition Orient want to win and I think he has a real burning desire to get his hands on the trophy
Tell us a bit about Justin Edinburgh. What has he done to get Orient on track and what formation does he like to play?
To put it simply, Justin has transformed the club’s mentality. That is the single most important thing he has done. Orient went from a club used to losing under their previous regime and that unfortunately stuck around under the new owners, but Justin turned up with them in a relegation battle and oozed confidence.
His first big decision was to make goalkeeper coach Dean Brill his number one and the experienced shot-stopper has played every minute for the O’s since. He has been so impressive.
After restoring confidence in the players and fans, Justin, alongside his coaching staff, has continued to set standards high and in a traditional 4-4-2, they have had plenty of success this season.
What do you think will be the key to both legs?
I think it will be whether the real Orient show up.
Given their position in the National League, they should win this game if they perform to their best.
Of late, even though they have been winning, their performances haven’t been as free-flowing as usual. You expect that at this stage of the season, but if they can show their best form, they will have too much for Telford.
Having said that, if the O’s underestimate them in the slightest, they’ll find themselves in for two very tough legs and in particular the second one away from home.
What’s your prediction?
I’ll go for a 3-1 Orient win.