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Edinburgh has a lot of respect for cup holders and Wilkin

PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 February 2019

Brackley Town's manager Kevin Wilkin (pic: Dave Howart/PA Images).

Brackley Town's manager Kevin Wilkin (pic: Dave Howart/PA Images).

PA Archive/PA Images

The O’s head coach praised the quality of Brackley Town ahead of Saturday’s tie

Leyton Orient have made it clear from the start they want to win this year’s FA Trophy and if they are going to do it, they will do it the hard way.

After being handed a relatively easy first round tie against Beaconsfield Town, the O’s have since had a tough away trip to Wrexham and a difficult home encounter with Blyth Spartans.

Next up is a clash with the holders, Brackley Town, at St James Park and head coach Justin Edinburgh knows the Saints will be eager to reach the last four.

Looking ahead to the fixture in Northamptonshire, he said: “I think this game will be our toughest one in the competition so far.

“They’ll be keen to retain their trophy and they’ve gone about their business well under Kevin (Wilkin).

“I thought he was unfortunate to lose his job at Wrexham and he has gone into Brackley and done an incredible job over a period of time.

“They were unfortunate to lose in the play-offs and they’ll make the play-offs again and of course they won the FA Trophy last season.

“Now they are in the quarter-finals of the competition again and make no bones about it, this will be a tough game for us.”

In previous rounds, Edinburgh has made several changes to his starting XI, but given Orient’s loss at home to Maidenhead United last time out, it may alter his thinking.

New signing Jay Simpson made his second debut for the club in the defeat and played 78 minutes, and will now hope for another opportunity.

The O’s may also be boosted by the return of Josh Coulson, Josh Koroma and James Dayton at Brackley while Marvin Ekpiteta was back among the substitutes last weekend.

At least two of them can expect to feature on Saturday and if Orient do get past Wilkin’s holders, it will see them create a hectic fixture schedule for themselves.

O’s are set to play seven times next month, but Edinburgh is confident they can cope with injured players like Ekpiteta, Coulson, Koroma and Dayton nearly 100 per cent again.

He added: “We are capable and we have enough to deal with two games a week and that’s what we are used to at this level.

“It is nothing new and not uncommon and we have more than enough to be able to deal with that.”

Should Saturday’s tie be all square after 90 minutes, it has now been confirmed a replay would take place at Orient on Tuesday (February 26).

Given the games coming up during March, O’s will hope to get the job done on the day in Brackley.

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