Leyton Orient captain Jobi McAnuff says he and his team-mates are determined to build upon former manager Justin Edinburgh's legacy, as they prepare to kick off the 2019/20 season back in the EFL.
Having guided Orient to Sky Bet League Two as champions of the National League last season, Edinburgh's passing on Saturday 8 June 2019 shook the footballing world, with tributes coming in from across the globe.
Speaking at this week's EFL Season Launch, McAnuff explained just how important a role his former manager played in the club's recent success, both on and off the pitch, and says the players want to "build on the foundations he was such a big part of".
“I’ll be honest, he was a guy who was all about not passing up opportunities because you never know when they’ll come around again," McAnuff said.
"Whether that was trying to win the league or performing to our best as an individual on a Saturday, he brought that to the table every single day. It’s almost taken on a more significant meaning now.
"We want to have a really good season for him, for ourselves and for the club. We want to keep his memory and his name alive and the best way to do that is to be successful and build on the foundations he was such a big part of.
“In terms of this club, he was the driving force behind our success. He came in at a time when we were really struggling and really galvanised us.
"He came in from day one and prioritised the team and building that relationship and that togetherness; we all committed to the cause and no-one was unwilling to buy into that. It really helped us get through some difficult moments."
McAnuff and Orient begin their campaign against Cheltenham Town on Saturday afternoon, and the midfielder says Edinburgh's teachings will be fresh in his mind as he takes to the pitch.
"He was the life of the club really; energetic, positive, enthusiastic, it rubbed off on us," he added. "His standards were incredibly high, he demanded it every single day and that was the reason we managed to achieve what we did.
"On a personal level, I got on with him as well as I have with any manager, both on and off the pitch; he really struck a chord with the lads. He treated you as a man first and you wanted to do a job for him; we had a love and respect for him that you don’t always get for managers.
"Some can be a bit more distant and I understand that, whereas Justin was the opposite really, I got on really well with him off the pitch. We’ve had some fantastic memories and will cherish those. We’ll look to use them to spur us on this year.
"We’re delighted to be back in the EFL and can’t wait to get started now. We’re going to be looking up rather than down from now on."