Dean Cox insists securing a play-off place with six games remaining is a great achievement by Leyton Orient despite seeing their hopes of automatic promotion fade.
The O’s have failed to win their last four matches in League 1 but have ensured their top-six finish with a month of the season remaining.
Cox believes this is a brilliant feat by the East Londoners after being relatively unfancied this season.
The winger said: “We’ve secured a play-off spot which for this group is a fantastic achievement and our fans respected that and were right behind us. It’s a very small squad so to achieve that so early is very good.
“The fans had a bit of realism against Bradford and you could see there were a lot of tired bodies out there. A lot of people have played 35 games already and I’m not using it as an excuse. But it’s difficult for us to rotate like the likes of Brentford.
“I watched the Wolves game and they were able to put Bakary Sako and Nouha Dicko on the bench. We can’t afford to do that here. We need to grind out results.
“I’m going home happy. Obviously it’s a disappointing result but I thought we played as well as we could but just couldn’t get the finishing touches. But to be in the play-offs, I would have absolutely snapped your arms off with six games to go.”
Cox made his 200th appearance for Orient in last week’s draw against Oldham Athletic and the former Brighton & Hove Albion attacker has plenty of memorable moments to choose from during his four years at Brisbane Road.
“It’s been fantastic,” he said. “Since I’ve been here the fans have been great and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it.
“I’m feeling it at the moment because it’s a lot of games in a short space of time but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I came here to play games and the last three-and-a-half years it’s been great to be able to assist goals and score goals and get my love for the game back.
“My first goal against Exeter was a highlight and obviously the halfway line goal against Walsall last season stands out. The Arsenal game was great and I’ve enjoyed this season being part of a squad which has pushed ever so hard. If you told me and any fans we’d be in the play-offs with six games to go I think you’d laugh at me.”
Orient have a very small squad and have understandably looked tired as the games mounted up in recent weeks. The O’s have taken advantage of not having a midweek game by travelling to Champneys in the lead up to Saturday’s trip to Sheffield United.
Cox said: “There are a lot of tired bodies in there from players who have played over 30 games.
“It’s a nice week for us. The gaffer has given us a couple of days off and we’re heading to Champneys where we were during pre-season to just chill out and get the togetherness again that we’ve had all season and just build on that. Now it’s about getting the momentum to take into the play-offs.
“We go out there and try to win every game but going into the play-offs on a winning run will stand us in good stead.”