Martin Ling paid tribute to Leyton Orient’s Jobi McAnuff, who captained the side to their National League promotion in his second spell at the club.

The Jamaica international’s second stint began when Ling arrived as the director of football at the club, and he suggested that McAnuff’s influence on the squad has been invaluable.

Speaking after Saturday’s game, Ling said: “He’s the only player I’ve ever known where the manager and the coaches have him in the team meetings. He is so thoughtful about his game. When I first went to meet him and I spoke to Sam [Ling] who had been in the squad with Jobi, he said ‘Dad, you want find a fitter pro’, ‘you won’t find a better lad’, ‘you won’t find a better leader’. They were Sam’s words to me.

“When I met Jobi, and I remember we had a coffee that lasted for three hours, his enthusiasm and his hunger for the game makes me think he could have another year in him in League Two and the decision is totally up to him. It’s not very often you say ‘if you want to carry on then there’s a contract there for you’.”

The O’s achieved promotion by clinching the only automatic spot on the final day of the season on Saturday, and the former Orient manager expressed his delight as seeing the club achieve the feat, especially from such a challenging league.

After Saturday’s game, he said: “This is the second time I’ve been in it [the National League]. The first time was as the manager at Cambridge and what I found out about the league is that it’s massively difficult.

“I think it’s the mentality of the league. The mentality being that you’ve got to go to Guiseley or somewhere with a thousand people on a bad pitch, sometimes our away support would outdo them and it’s a difficult league.

“It’s the most difficult league to get out of because you’ve got one [automatic spot] and then six play off. To get out of it in two years is immense but to get out of it in two years from where we’ve come from I think is a miracle.”