Stand-in captain Jobi McAnuff hails approach of new Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh
PUBLISHED: 14:00 09 January 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
The 36-year-old reveals his delight at wearing the captain’s armband and what Justin Edinburgh has done at O’s since his appointment on November 29
Jobi McAnuff has praised the impact of Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh after helping the club stop the rot in the National League.
When the 48-year-old was appointed as the new O’s boss on November 29, the E10 club were 20th in the table and just three points above the bottom four following a run of 14 league games without a win.
Fast forward to now and Orient may only be one position better off, but they have a healthy seven-point gap between themselves and the relegation zone.
Edinburgh has made the east Londoners difficult to beat with the team losing just one of their last seven games in all competitions and winning four times during the same period.
McAnuff said: “The gaffer has made a massive difference. He has come in and I don’t think saying he has simplified things for us does him the service he deserves.
“He has been very direct and not been afraid to tell people what he wants and what he feels will help us win games.
“Obviously the lads have bought into it really well and responded to it and you can see that on the pitch.
“We have been hard to beat and that was the first thing he wanted to do – stop the rot – and as I say, we are getting to that point now.
“We don’t want to take anything for granted and say we have cracked it on that front, but we need to make sure being hard to beat is our base and then build on that, so he’s been really good.”
The O’s went over three months without a league victory in 2017 and the only success they achieved between the start of September and end of December was in the FA Cup over Dagenham & Redbridge after a replay.
It resulted in Steve Davis losing his job, though in fairness to McAnuff he was one of the few to perform consistently during the aforementioned period.
He netted in the September home defeats to Hartlepool United and AFC Fylde, but missed a large chunk of October with a groin injury before an issue with his toe kept him on the sidelines for the beginning of November.
McAnuff came off the bench during Davis’ last match – a 2-1 loss at Ebbsfleet United on November 11 – before he was made captain by interim boss Ross Embleton.
The one-time West Ham United winger seemed to thrive with the extra responsibility, scoring a wonder goal during a 2-2 draw with Chester and Edinburgh has kept him on as the skipper since his arrival.
It has resulted in McAnuff producing some of his best football for O’s over the last month with the armband on.
He said: “The captaincy is something I have done before and from my point of view I enjoy it.
“It probably is a little bit of extra responsibility, but it shouldn’t take away from people’s game, it should add to it and fortunately for me during the periods I’ve done it I have felt that and I have enjoyed it.
“Obviously first and foremost I appreciated getting the opportunity from Ross when he took over for a few games and then for the gaffer to allow me to continue in the role, so I am looking forward to a positive second half of the season now.”