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English Football League Trophy is a great opportunity for Leyton Orient to reach Wembley insists Andy Edwards

PUBLISHED: 08:00 24 August 2016

Leyton Orient assistant manager Andy Edwards (right) watches on at Dagenham & Redbridge alongside Andy Hessenthaler (centre) and Danny Webb. Pic: SIMON O'CONNOR

Leyton Orient assistant manager Andy Edwards (right) watches on at Dagenham & Redbridge alongside Andy Hessenthaler (centre) and Danny Webb. Pic: SIMON O'CONNOR

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O’s assistant manager Andy Edwards discusses reformed competition and strength of the east Londoners squad

Leyton Orient’s first focus this week is to tackle Mansfield Town in League Two, but they have another important clash coming up on the horizon.

The Brisbane Road outfit will take part in the newly reformed English Football League Trophy next Tuesday (August 30) – previously the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

Named the Checkatrade Trophy now for sponsorship reasons, it has switched from its original round-robin format.

O’s have been placed in a group with Stevenage, Southend United and Brighton & Hove Albion – one of the 16 Category One Academy clubs included in the competition.

Andy Hessenthaler’s team are in South Group G and kick-off the new tournament with a home clash against Stevenage.

Orient’s assistant manager Andy Edwards believes the EFL Trophy provides the east Londoners will a good chance to reach Wembley.

He said: “There have been interesting changes I suppose because obviously the big clubs have had a decision to make whether they enter it or not.

“For us, as a smaller club, I think it is an opportunity to go and win it and get to Wembley. That is how I see it.

“Whether we make changes or not, we’ll focus on that at the time, but if we did I don’t think it will weaken us. It is a tournament that we’ll look to go as far as we can in.”

Hessenthaler’s number two believes O’s have huge strength in depth and will be able to put out a strong XI regardless of who plays.

They have fielded the same back five in the past two matches and it has resulted in back-to-back victories.

Edwards added: “It is nice to have a settled team, but we have no worries about who comes into the side from the squad.

“Whoever comes in is not going to make us weaker, we’re confident in the squad we’ve got and there is people champing at the bit to get in the team.

“You’ve got people disappointed they are not in the team so the players have got to keep performing to keep their shirts. We need to keep improving and working to get better at what we’re doing.”

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