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Charlie Lee acknowledges role of fellow experienced Leyton Orient team-mate Jobi McAnuff

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 May 2018

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh speaks with first-team captain Charlie Lee ahead of his first outing since August 19 (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh speaks with first-team captain Charlie Lee ahead of his first outing since August 19 (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

The 31-year-old has discussed the influence Jobi McAnuff has at Brisbane Road and reiterated his desire to get O's back in the Football League

Leyton Orient winger Jobi McAnuff dribbles past Boreham Wood opponent Kane Smith (pic: Simon O'Connor).Leyton Orient winger Jobi McAnuff dribbles past Boreham Wood opponent Kane Smith (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Charlie Lee has talked up the impact Jobi McAnuff has off the pitch at Leyton Orient, let alone on it following a fine campaign from the Jamaican.

The duo have captained the O’s on numerous occasions this season in the National League, but it was McAnuff who led the side out more after Lee suffered a serious anterior cruciate ligament damage injury in August.

After starting the campaign as first-team skipper, the ex-Peterborough United ace could only watch on as the armband got passed around towards the end of Steve Davis time in charge.

Justin Edinburgh, appointed head coach on November 29, picked McAnuff as captain from the off, after Ross Embleton had given the winger the role in his interim spell in charge, and it proved a wise choice.

The 36-year-old set the tone for Orient to improve in the second half of the season and eventually finish in 13th.

Lee was able to return at the end of the term and made a point of praising McAnuff, who captained O’s on the last day win at Gateshead on April 28.

“He is immense and we’re very lucky to have Jobi,” said Orient’s first-team skipper Lee last month.

“There are a lot of teams at a higher level than us who would probably want him and he’s just brilliant.

“What he does on the pitch is good, but it’s what he does off it as well. In day-to-day training, he sets the standard and you won’t get a bad word said about Jobi McAnuff from anyone.”

The experienced duo will hope to play a big in Orient’s promotion push next season despite both being over thirty.

Lee, like McAnuff, has thrown down the gauntlet to the rest of the squad heading into the 2018/19 campaign.

The one-time Tottenham Hotspur youth believes the club have everything in place behind the scenes to see them make a Football League return in the near future.

“I’m not here to stay in the National League, I signed for Orient because they’re a league team,” said Lee.

“I’ve played against them in League One and League Two, and they’re too good for this level as a club structure.

“We, as players, were brought in to change that and I won’t be happy until that’s done.”

Judging Lee’s comments, it will not only be McAnuff who sets the tone on and off the pitch next season.

Additional reporting by Jacob Ranson.

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