McAnuff ‘happy’ to return and wants to help Orient achieve their goals

Leyton Orient's Jobi McAnuff looks to attack the Scunthorpe United defence (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient's Jobi McAnuff looks to attack the Scunthorpe United defence (pic: Simon O'Connor). - Credit: Archant

Jamaican international reveals delight at returning to Orient first team, backs team mate Ollie Palmer and looks ahead to FA Cup draw

Leyton Orient forward Ollie Palmer can't believe his luck after seeing another chance miss the targe

Leyton Orient forward Ollie Palmer can't believe his luck after seeing another chance miss the target against Scunthorpe United (pic: Simon O'Connor). - Credit: Archant

Jobi McAnuff is thrilled to be back involved for Leyton Orient and keen to help them achieve success this season.

The 34-year-old made his first start of the campaign on Saturday during the O’s stalemate with Scunthorpe United at Brisbane Road.

It means Ian Hendon’s men are in the hat for the third round of the FA Cup after the goalless draw.

McAnuff impressed against the Iron and revealed he was delighted to be back playing again. He made his first appearance of the season in the 3-2 win over York City on November 21.

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It is believed president Francesco Becchetti insisted the Jamaican international not be selected before that, but thankfully all has been resolved now.

“I am not going to say anything,” said McAnuff when asked about why he hasn’t been involved.

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“Obviously I am happy to be back and what has gone on has gone. I just want to look forward now to being involved and playing some games and trying to help the club achieve their goals.

“I can’t do anything about what has gone on. We are in December now, I am back on the pitch and there is a lot of football to be played and I want to be a part of it.”

The former Reading midfielder started behind forward Ollie Palmer before moving out to the left wing in the second half against Scunthorpe.

He was one of a number of Orient players to impress as Hendon’s side more than matched their League One opponents.

They might have won the tie too, had Palmer not missed a fantastic chance to score 18 minutes from time.

“I am gutted for Ollie because overall his performance was very, very good. He did all we could ask for really from somebody playing up top by themselves,” added McAnuff.

“He held the ball up well and brought people into play and we are just saying to him keep getting into those positions and the goals will come.

“Ollie is working so hard and probably sometimes a bit too hard for his own good, but he does it because he wants to help the team. It will come. With strikers a lot of them are streaky and once he gets that first one, they will come flowing.”

McAnuff admitted the forward’s morale was low after the game, but backed him to deliver in the coming weeks.

He added: “Ollie was a bit down in the dressing room, but everyone is right behind him and as a footballer if you know someone has done their job and worked as hard as they could that is all you can ask.

“The goals will come and we had 10 other players on the pitch who could score. We have had other chances and we just need to stick together and crack on really.”

The stalemate means Orient are in the hat for the third round draw, which takes place tonight on BBC.

McAnuff was asked if he would like to face one of his former clubs – Wimbledon, West Ham United, Cardiff, Crystal Palace, Watford or Reading – in the next round.

He added: “I don’t know if I want to be drawn against any of my old clubs. There are a few there! We have a fair chance, but you just want a good draw.

“Either a nice home one or a big one away would be nice, but we have got work to do before that. It is nice to be in the hat and the possibility is there.”

What is also certain now is that McAnuff seems set to play a big role in Orient’s campaign - something that was highly unlikely a couple of weeks ago.

His performance in the 0-0 draw with Scunthorpe was very encouraging and you would imagine he will only get better the more he plays.

It bodes well for Hendon and co going into 2016.

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