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After overdue 'normal' year, Orient fans are dreaming of promotion under Edinburgh

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 January 2019

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff celebrates after scoring at Harrogate Town (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff celebrates after scoring at Harrogate Town (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

We look back over O’s 2018 for our Year in Sport pull-out and take a glimpse into the future

Leyton Orient didn’t win a trophy in 2018, they did not even gain promotion, but the year will stay in the memory of O’s supporters.

One of the main reasons for this is for the first time since 2013, 12 months went by with very little negatives to digest or deal with.

Since the summer of 2014 things have been pretty crazy in E10 and specifically at Brisbane Road, Leyton.

It has meant O’s have had some kind of fall-out every year and generally their loyal fans have been the ones left to pick up all the pieces.

Of course 2014 saw heartbreak in the play-off final, 2015 resulted in relegation from League One and 2016 was the year of a lot of different managers.

There is no doubt 2017 was the worst of the lot with even more bosses and eventually relegation into non-league.

At one stage, back-to-back relegations was a possibility with Orient languishing at the bottom of the National League.

Justin Edinburgh has taken the O’s ship away from choppy waters into a strong position, though, as 2018 came to a close.

The past 12 months at the club have been pretty normal and Edinburgh has lasted the whole year! Russell Slade was the last Orient boss to make it through a year back in 2013.

Under the stewardship of the former Gillingham manager, O’s have taken the league by storm and are firmly in the title mix.

Owners Nigel Travis and Kent Teague deserve massive praise and so does director of football Martin Ling, but it is Edinburgh who has really stopped the titanic sinking further.

In 2018, Orient reached the last-eight of the FA Trophy, which was a disappointment in the end, and crucially finished the year top.

Edinburgh’s side won plenty of games and didn’t lose many as they went from a team used to losing to a club which wants to be a serial winner.

Now the challenge for 2019 is clear. Keep calm and carry on as they have been doing and if they do that, promotion may finally arrive once again for the O’s.

Boss Edinburgh said: “We want to continue what we have started. We have given ourselves an excellent foundation and the players deserve an awful amount of credit.

“Now if we can maintain that throughout the second half of the season then we will be in with a shout of getting promotion.”

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