Jobi is feeling fresh thanks to the gaffer
PUBLISHED: 16:00 16 March 2016
Simon O'Connor Photography
Experienced midfielder delighted to play his part at Oxford
Jobi McAnuff has lauded Leyton Orient player-manager Kevin Nolan for allowing him to come back fully fit after injury.
The Jamaican international missed the win over Crawley Town and the recent 2-2 draw with Carlisle United after Calaum Jahraldo-Martin tripped him and he rolled his ankle in training.
It occurred just days after the 34-year-old had put in a man-of-the-match display at Notts County and with O’s desperate to get into the play-off positions, you would think that McAnuff would have been rushed back to play in their various crucial matches.
But boss Nolan made a big effort to allow the former Reading captain time to fully recuperate and it paid dividends as he made a big impact off the bench against Luton Town, before starting at Oxford United on Saturday.
The ball broke to the Orient number 11 in the box in the 74th minute and he lashed it into the corner to send his team back up to seventh in the table.
“The injury was just a bit of an unfortunate one, really innocuous in training,” said McAnuff. “I went over on Calaum’s foot and rolled my ankle. It was frustrating, but to be fair the gaffer was really good.
“He said ‘make sure it is right before you come back rather than playing when it isn’t right’.
“We have a good squad and the boys won the home game with Crawley and drew at Carlisle so I didn’t miss me too much! It is nice to be back and contributing.”
It is testament to Nolan’s ability to discover a problem and find a solution quickly that McAnuff wasn’t forced to return from injury immediately.
The former West Ham United captain made a big effort to boost his squad in January and had plenty of options to fill the void left by the Jamaican.
At Oxford, Frazer Shaw wasn’t involed, while Sammy Moore missed out completely due to illness and Lloyd James is yet to return to the fold after recovering from his Achilles problem.
McAnuff believes the vast options available to Nolan at Brisbane Road can push Orient on to ensure they finish in the play-off positions come May 7.
He added: “The squad is honestly massive and every good team out there, or club that wants to achieve something, has got strength in depth.
“You need to have that every day and people pushing – there are lads here that are not even getting on the bench that have played a good part this year.
“They have done well and are itching to get on, which is pushing us every day in training. It is a competitive atmosphere and environment. That is something we need to keep pushing us.
“Particularly at the end of the season, teams can get into a little bit of a comfort zone, but we want to kick on now and get to where we want to be.”