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Leyton Orient set for Vegas after Cup draw with Arsenal

Jonathan Tehoue (centre) celebrates his late equaliser
Tehoue celebrates the goal that has secured the trip to Vegas

Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn will take his players to Las Vegas as a reward for drawing 1-1 in the FA Cup against Premier League club Arsenal.

Jonathan Tehoue struck in the 89th minute for the League One side to earn a replay at the Emirates Stadium.

"The lads had Elvis Presley on when the chairman walked into the changing room and were singing Viva Las Vegas," said Orient boss Russell Slade.

"The end of May or in June would be nice to get three or four days away."

A delighted Hearn joked on Monday morning that he wanted to head straight to Vegas after Sunday's tie at Brisbane Road but Slade vetoed an immediate departure.

"The equaliser was the most wonderful moment," said Hearn on BBC Radio 5 live.

"I wanted to go on Sunday night but apparently we have got Huddersfield away on Saturday and the manager said we had to be professional.

In terms of super sub, Tehoue is the boy, our secret weapon

Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade

"When we do go we will stay at the Mandalay Bay, where I have got a lot of friends. We will have a couple of games and a party.

"We have been talking about this for weeks, I also said that if we get in the play-offs we will go to Vegas so I will now have to work out something different if we manage that."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had watched his team take the lead through Tomas Rosicky but Tehoue struck to ensure a lucrative second meeting.

"We showed them we are the best team in Leyton," added Hearn.

"The replay is a big money spinner for us and in the lower leagues you need all you can get.

"We lose money every year but [the Cup run] is taking away our losses and I think we are in danger of being the only club in the Football League to make money this year.

"That would be amazing, the first time it has happened to me in 16 years, I could get used to it."

Wenger admitted that he had never heard of Orient's French striker Tehoue, but Slade revealed that he has been using the 26-year-old journeyman as an impact player.

"To get that goal was great timing because Arsene Wenger could not get Cesc Fabregas or anyone else on who could undo us on in the last 10 minutes," said the 50-year-old.

"When I have started with Jonathan, sometimes he has not made the impact he has coming off the bench.

"He has scored something like eight goals from 85 minutes onwards. In terms of super sub, forget about the [former Liverpool striker] David Faircloughs of this world - Tehoue, he is the boy, our secret weapon. Brilliant."

Tehoue's goal was his ninth of the season, including an eight-minute hat-trick in the 8-2 win over Droylsden in the second round of the FA Cup.

"Jonathan has had a really bad hamstring tear and missed a lot of pre-season, so that has also played his part in that he has not started that many," added Slade.

"He is getting fitter and stronger, but while he keeps making an impact like that, I might just keep him on the bench.

"But he could turn out to be a very important player for us with 17 league games to go."

Orient are currently 11th in the League One table, five points adrift of a play-off place.

Meanwhile, the money generated by Orient's Cup run could help to finance their challenge against the decision to award the Olympic Stadium to West Ham.

The Hammers were named preferred bidders but Orient, the club closest to the site, believe their existence would be threatened by the Premier League club's arrival.

"It gives us a voice and the finance to challenge people," added Hearn, who is consulting lawyers about the possibility of launching a judicial review.

"I hope the Cup form has given us a platform, that people will realise they have not considered Orient. I hope [London mayor] Boris Johnson and the government don't sanction [the West Ham move] until they look at Orient.

"If they don't then a judicial review is one of many legal avenues open to us."

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see also
Leyton Orient 1-1 Arsenal
20 Feb 11 |  FA Cup
Fixture congestion worries Wenger
20 Feb 11 |  FA Cup
Hearn defends FA Cup traditions
20 Feb 11 |  FA Cup
Orient challenge stadium decision
16 Feb 11 |  London 2012
Man Utd to face Arsenal in FA Cup
02 Mar 11 |  FA Cup
Sunday's football photos
20 Feb 11 |  Football

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