Leyton Orient assistant coach Ross Embleton admitted that promotion had been a “forbidden word” in the changing room in the weeks building up to the club’s title win.

The O’s completed their return to the Football League on Saturday after a goalless draw at home to Braintree Town coupled with Salford City’s loss away at Hartlepool United on the final day.

Although the league title was effectively won on Easter Monday with a point away at Solihull Moors, Embleton praised the squad for remaining focussed throughout this week, knowing there was still a chance that Salford, and even Solihull themselves, could spring a surprise.

After the game, he said: “When you listen and watch people’s interviews, all season it’s been a bit of a forbidden word, promotion. It’s something I think we’ve all probably avoided because we wanted to achieve it so much. I’m sure no more than anybody else but I think we know what this means to this group.

“If you bring that all together and look at the effect it has on the club, it’s indescribable.”

There have been multiple points this season where the O’s have gone to the top of the league but dips in form allowed the club’s around them to catch up. Embleton, though, recognised a fight within the side, even from an early point in the season.

He said: “I remember the gaffer asking me to do the press here against Ebbsfleet three games in. We hadn’t played very well. I remember sitting there and thinking ‘we are so hard to beat, we’re so hard-working, there’s that togetherness’.

“Not for one minute did I think at that time we were going to go on and win the league but there was a real steel about us that even when we weren’t playing very well we could get over the line.

“If we could just settle ourselves down and find that patter, that routine and the way we want to play then we could go on and win a lot of games.”

At times this season, it looked as though the chance of automatic promotion would escape the club, but the resolve they showed, particularly in some of their later games where they fought back to earn vital points, were some of the key moments that Embleton will remember this season.

He said: “I’ve just been in the changing room chatting to Matt Harrold about the moments that you look back on and there’s so many. Look back at Halifax away earlier in the season with James Alabi’s equaliser. You look at Halifax at home, Sutton away, moments where you think ‘how on earth did that happen?’ or ‘how did that work in our favour?’.

“I like to look at us and see us as the perfect looking football team but there’s so many moment where you look and you think we showed something else on that day and now we’ve done it I suppose you can look back and think that’s what wins you a league.”