The hard work was worth it, admits champion Edinburgh
PUBLISHED: 11:00 01 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:32 01 May 2019
Simon O'Connor Photography
Leyton Orient secured promotion to the Football League on Saturday after a gruelling 46 games in the National League
Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh admitted winning the National League title with O's is the biggest achievement of his managerial career to date.
The 49-year-old led Newport County to promotion to the Football League via the play-offs in 2013, but this effort tops that of the Welsh side.
When Edinburgh took over, Orient were on a lengthy winless run and just above the relegation zone and less than 18 months later they have won the championship after a demanding title race with Salford City, Solihull Moors and Wrexham.
“This is top. I don't say that lightly and I don't say that disrespectfully,” The O's head coach said.
“My playing career has been and gone now and they're personal memories to me.
“As a manager, I was lucky enough to manage Newport and take them up via the play-offs, but I've never won a title.
“This for me is what all that hard work over the last 46 games has been for, so this is the biggest achievement I've had.”
Wonderful scenes occurred in E10 at full time with fans flooding onto the pitch to join in with the celebrations.
Edinburgh was initially congratulated by his players and staff on the touchline before the supporters got to him.
He conceded that was when the magnitude of their achievement kicked in, but before Saturday's game he wasn't counting his chickens given the permutations on the table.
Orient were at home to already-relegated Braintree Town and only needed a point to clinch the title, but also knew they could lose as long as they didn't see a five-goal swing occur when it came to goal difference with Salford City.
“That was when it blows you away, when the full-time whistle goes,” Edinburgh said.
“It was a very surreal week because I think a lot of people thought it was done, but when you actually start to looked at it. We very rarely get beaten at home, but that can happen, I've been in football a long time.
“And that five-goal swing can go pretty quickly too, but we stayed focused and credit to the players.
“They never allowed themselves to lose that focus and what was at the end, which was the trophy, the title.
“For me, this is the toughest league to get out of and we've accomplished it and I'm proud of everyone.”