Captain Jobi McAnuff says his Leyton Orient teammates have got to “start relishing the pressure” of being top of the league.

The O’s were beaten 3-0 at home by promotion rivals Salford City on Saturday, meaning the gap between the two was closed to just two points after the visitors moved up to second in the National League table.

McAnuff said: “We’ve got to start relishing that pressure and not letting it become a burden or a negative thing. At the end of the day we want to go up. We’re all big enough to say that and know that it is our ambition and we’ve got to really take that on board and use it to fire us forward.”

Two early goals from Carl Piergianni and Rory Gaffney were added to by Piergianni’s second after the break in the defeat but McAnuff insisted that once Orient regain their consistency, they will be on the right path again..

“I think the days of all three teams, four teams winning every week are gone now,” he said. “Everyone’s fighting for something.

“The results will be unpredictable so it is just about us being as consistent as possible and getting back on those runs of six, seven games unbeaten which, for me, will get us to where we want to go.”

After the disappointing defeat to their promotion rivals, which brought to an end a Christmas period of three wins in seven games, Orient have a break from league action as they travel to Wrexham in the FA Trophy on Saturday.

The second round fixture will provide a stern test for the O’s as they come up against the National League’s third-placed side, but it will not have the pressure of a top-of-the-table clash.

“It’s the second half of the season,” McAnuff said. “All the football’s in front of us now and we are where we want to be. It’s about being positive and carrying that momentum on and getting back on track as quickly as possible.

“They are one of our rivals and it will be a big game. It’s a nice place to go and play football. For me, it’s a good game without being disrespectful to maybe a lower league club or one where you’re not sure what you’re going into.

“There are opportunities now and the boys have to really take that on board and push the gaffer and give him decisions to make.”