THE O’S don’t have to look too far for inspiration ahead of Sunday’s FA Cup with Budweiser tie at Gloucester City with the glorious run of two years ago still fresh in their memories.
The east Londoners reached the fifth round during that memorable odyssey, defeating Norwich and Swansea and taking Arsenal to an Emirates Stadium replay.
O’s boss Russell Slade would dearly love a repeat of those exploits, although he is well aware that his team will need to be at their best to see off the challenge of non-league Gloucester.
Again, he only has to look at that famous run as evidence of how tough opposition from Blue Square Bet North can be, as Droylsden pushed the O’s all the way in 2010/11.
“It’s a really important competition as we only know too well from a season or two back when we had such a great run,” he said.
“That brought in much needed finance for the football club, and more than that for the players to come up against Premier League opposition was fantastic.
“It was a real buzz and it gave us real momentum. Those who are still here from then remember it well, so if we could repeat that we’d be delighted.
“We know that the opposition, on a one off situation, can lift their game beyond the level that they’re normally playing at.
“We’re mindful of that and we came so close to getting knocked out of the competition by Droylsden in the season when we reached the fifth round.
“We know it will be a difficult tie and we won’t be underestimating Gloucester at all. We’ve prepared for them as we would do for a League game.”
Slade has been glad of a full week to prepare in, following an October which had his team playing every Saturday and Tuesday.
The boss says that seven-day period has allowed the coaching staff to recharge the players’ batteries ahead of a crucial period in their season.
He added: “It’s been our first free week for a while, Monday to Friday, where we’ve been able to get a little more life back into people’s legs.
“The rest has been just as important as the training itself. I think we’ve had the right balance this week and we’re also getting players [such as Lisbie and Cuthbert] so much closer to full fitness as well.
“It’s been an encouraging week.”