Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade has spoken of the journey the FA Cup has been after his side crashed out of the competition after losing 5-0 to Arsenal in the fifth round replay match on Wednesday night.
Slade is proud of the Orient fans for cheering his side on, even after going five goals down, and his players for giving them the opportunity to do so.
"We were just under 9,000 tonight, but they were absolutely magnificent. They have enjoyed the journey too and they stayed right behind the team right until the last minute and that has been appreciated by myself and the players," Slade told reporters after the match.
"It just goes to show it has been a journey for them too and they have enjoyed every minute of it and now we have to work hard all together to drag this team and push this team further up the table," he said.
Orient were outclassed by their Premier League opposition for large portions of the game, and Slade put his side's loss down to Arsenal’s ruthlessness in converting chances.
"It was a hard night," he admitted. "We found a side in good form with a real strong focus and a spot on attitude.
"Mr Wenger got his performance from his players. With the first three goals they were ruthless. Three attacks, three opportunities, three goals. But still I am proud of the way we tried to keep the ball and keep passing, that's our way.
“We are not going to throw away the rules we have. So it was a difficult night but we need to go away and learn from it and try to re-establish a momentum in our league and try and push on and see if we can obtain a top six spot with the 16 remaining games we have got."
Although his team lost by such a large margin he still speaks of the desire his team will carry back into League One. Orient are pushing for a playoff position and will be hoping to ply their trade in the Championship next season, their form in the cup will be something they are looking to draw on for inspiration.
"I think the group we have got believe in the way we play and I think you saw that tonight in defeat. I think you saw a group that kept trying to go forward and never gave up," Slade added.
"It is those sorts of qualities that we will have to show in our quest to try and get out of League One and into the next one. We have a real desire and a group of hungry players who want to achieve and if we didn't we wouldn't have had the journey we have had in the FA Cup."
It’s Notts County who are next up for Orient and Slade is asking his team to team to bounce back from this defeat like Arsenal did from their defeat against Birmingham at the weekend.
Slade added: "I hope I get the same response Mr Wenger got from Arsenal having lost in the Carling Cup final.
"I went to the game on Sunday and it was a huge disappointment for them not get some silverware but he got a fantastic response tonight and that's the sort of response I'll be looking for on Saturday against Notts County.
"So we will take that away with us and obviously we haven't got too many days to recover but it's a good group," continued Slade. "A group who want to take the club forward and I have every belief in them that they can do it."