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Cowan: We have nothing to lose, the pressure is on Orient

PUBLISHED: 14:00 18 March 2019

Dean Brill punches a cross into Leyton Orient's area clear (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Dean Brill punches a cross into Leyton Orient's area clear (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

The O's travel to New Bucks Head looking to make it through to Wembley

AFC Telford United manager Gavin Cowan believes his team can achieve ‘the so-called unachievable’ against Leyton Orient in the second leg of the FA Trophy semi-final on Saturday.

The National League North side trail the O’s 1-0 after the first meeting in the capital last weekend with Macauley Bonne scoring the only goal of the game.

Bonne could have walked away with the match ball, but squandered two excellent first-half chances.

It sets up an intriguing second leg in Shropshire this coming weekend where Bucks believe they have a chance.

Cowan said: “I trust the players and we couldn’t have prepared any better and there was no fear in our belly.

“I couldn’t wait to get out there and the players were the same and ultimately we have nothing to lose. The pressure is on Orient.

“There is no expectation outside of us and I don’t know if anyone believes we might achieve the so-called unachievable, but we don’t see it like that.

“We will now bring them back to our place and they know it won’t be easy as they would have seen in the first leg and we are excited. I trust my players, I trust they will perform when needed and bring things over the line.”

Telford struggled to create opportunities in E10, but did threaten late on with Darryl Knights and Daniel Udoh coming close.

Manager Cowan, who has guided the New Bucks Head side to seventh in the National League North, knows where his men can improve for the second meeting with O’s.

He added: “The lads enjoyed the pressure but I think they need to trust themselves more in the mid phase and shorten our game up a little bit.

“They need to have more courage on the ball to stay on the ball because we tried to go too early too often. The lads just need to trust themselves a bit more because at times a little bit more composure was needed.

“It is expected because we have come to a magnificent club and a magnificent ground. Justin Edinburgh has done an absolutely fantastic job, but I thought our lads approached it really professionally.”

Cowan concluded: “We are still in the tie. Now we will go back to our place and see if we can put them under some pressure and maybe get our fans to bring it home for us.”

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