Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade devastated after late Johnstone's Paint Trophy Wembley heartbreak against Southend United
Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade admitted he was devastated after their Wembley hopes were crushed by a dramatic late goal from Southend United.
The O's were heading for a penalty shootout in their Johnstone's Paint Trophy area final but a 90th minute effort from Ben Reeves sent them to a 3-2 defeat on aggregate.
Slade said: "Obviously I'm as devastated and as sick as they [fans] are and so is the changing room. We were desperate to win it and take them to Wembley and it will take a bit of getting over because it hurts.
"It wouldn't be right if it didn't hurt and hopefully we can bounce back and finish the season in good style."
The Orient manager admitted it will be a challenge lifting his players for their League One game against Crawley on Saturday after their cup heartbreak.
Slade said: "It won't be easy picking the players up because that's hard to take but that's my job. Given a little bit of time hopefully we can turn it around.
"It was a big thing tonight for both clubs and we desperately wanted to get there [Wembley], there's no doubt about that. There's no point hiding that. We were desperate to get there.
"We were the team that were pushing to win it in the 90 minutes, that's for sure. That was a real kick in the teeth to concede the goal with two minutes to go."