Jobi McAnuff impressed with competition in the Leyton Orient squad
PUBLISHED: 13:00 16 January 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
The one-time West Ham United winger discusses the need for back-up in all areas of the pitch
Leyton Orient winger Jobi McAnuff believes the current competition at the club is healthy and will only serve to push the team on to achieve more during the final few months of the National League season.
Director of Football Martin Ling and boss Justin Edinburgh have been busy so far in January with Dan Holman (Cheltenham Town), Lamar Reynolds (Newport County) and Ebou Adams (Norwich City under-23s) joining the O’s on loan.
Meanwhile, Josh Coulson made his switch from Cambridge United a permanent one much to the delight of the Orient faithful.
Edinburgh hinted he still wants at least one more addition, but McAnuff praised the current level of quality in the squad after seeing several players come into the side already this month and take their chance.
He said: “Any team I have been a part of that has been successful has had competition and sometimes it is more subconscious.
“If a player doesn’t feel he has competition he can fall off a bit and it is more mental rather than someone actually going out and thinking ‘I don’t need to play well.’
“Competition benefits training as well and the intensity in training has been really good and people are pushing each other which comes out on the pitch. When you look at the players who have come in recently, there hasn’t been a drop in standard.
“People have come in, done really well and if they have found themselves back out of the team they have been unlucky because they’ve performed well and that’s what we need to continue as a squad.
“I’m sure with what we have brought in and with maybe one or two more, we will keep improving.”
McAnuff’s protégé Josh Koroma is a prime example of someone benefiting from extra competition.
The teenager only played a couple of minutes during Edinburgh’s first month in charge before being handed a surprise starting role at Dagenham & Redbridge on January 1.
Koroma was included because McAnuff had a slight knee injury, but the wide-man impressed by delivering a responsible showing on the wing.
He was unfortunate to miss out of the matchday squad completely for the next game at home to Boreham Wood with new loan signing Reynolds included on the bench instead.
Yet Koroma’s response was outstanding and he was included among the substitutes for the FA Trophy tie at Bognor Regis Town on Saturday and came on to score an extra-time winner.
It highlights McAnuff’s point that the more competition there is in the Orient squad, the better it will be for the club.
Edinburgh has more options now than ever before, which will hopefully help the O’s climb the league table.