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McAnuff pleased O’s fans can enjoy Wembley trip

PUBLISHED: 09:00 10 May 2019

Leyton Orient fans sing during the National League match against Braintree Town at the Breyer Group Stadium (pic: Mark Kerton/PA Images).

Leyton Orient fans sing during the National League match against Braintree Town at the Breyer Group Stadium (pic: Mark Kerton/PA Images).

PA Wire/PA Images

The former Crystal Palace and Reading winger discussed the prospect of playing under the arch in Brent

For many people involved in football a trip to Wembley is the holy grail, but Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff is pleased the club only have to go there once this season.

After finishing the National League campaign on April 27, the O's have one last game to prepare for - the FA Trophy final on May 19.

If Justin Edinburgh's team had not held their nerve so brilliantly during the final weeks of the season, they may have had to rely on winning promotion through the play-offs.

Given how Orient's last Wembley trip fared in 2014, so many supporters didn't want to go through that type of pain again, but this visit to Brent will be relatively stress free.

Yes the club are in a cup final and there is plenty to play for, but come full time, they will still be a Football League club next season and no-one will fear visiting the stadium.

McAnuff said: "Since we qualified for the FA Trophy final in March, a massive thing for us was to make sure we went up as champions so everyone could enjoy the day, especially given the club's history at Wembley.

"We did feel that a little bit ahead of playing Braintree Town (on April 27), there was a little bit of pessimism in the air which is natural given some of the experiences the fans have had over the years with losing play-off finals and missing out on promotion.

"Hopefully they really enjoyed celebrating winning the league and now it is on to Wembley and we can really look forward to that."

Although all the Orient players will be excited to play at the 90,000-seater venue, the three-week break between the final game of the regular season and the FA Trophy final does leave them in a slightly tricky situation.

Instead of putting their feet up, they have one last game to prepare for and they have a significant amount of time to get ready to face AFC Fylde.

Yet the club have done their best to reward the players excellent season by giving them last week off and now all the focus is on the FA Trophy.

McAnuff said: "It won't be difficult to motivate the players because it is a fantastic experience.

"I am fortunate enough to have had one game there and lost, so it wasn't a great day from a personal point of view, but growing up playing at Wembley was an ambition and a dream and it is the same for the lads who haven't been there yet.

"It doesn't matter what tournament it is or what the stakes are, it is a game at Wembley which everyone will look forward to."


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