Hendon: Big Sam told me I was ready
- Credit: PA WIRE
New Orient head coach reveals former West Ham boss gave him advice and discusses bringing young players from Upton Park to the club
Former West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce told Ian Hendon he was ready to be a manager again ahead of the 43-year-old taking the job as Leyton Orient head coach.
Hendon, who was confirmed as the new boss at Brisbane Road last week, replacing Fabio Liverani, revealed his friend advised him ahead of the move.
The pair worked together at Notts County in the 90s before spending three years coaching at Upton Park in the Premier League.
O’s new head coach believes he has learned a great deal from working with Allardyce and knows he is ready for this job.
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“I totally benefited from my time at West Ham. I learnt so much from Sam and Neil McDonald his assistant manager,” said Hendon.
“I went in there and worked with the development squad. I was literally developing players and working with youngsters up to the age of 21 and went into the league and we did really well.
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“Sam obviously saw something in me as a coach and promoted me to the first team and I was with them for two-and-a-half-years. You can’t fail to learn from Sam with the way he is, his organisation and it was an eye-opener to be honest. I have taken so much from working with him.
“I did ask him about this job and he was fully supportive of me and said I should go for it. You ask experience people what they think and he said ‘you are ready’ so I am ready for the challenge and I am going to give this a good go.”
Hendon was asked if going back to his former club with regard to buying and loaning players would still be an option now Allardyce has left.
The former O’s captain doesn’t believe he would have any problems bringing young West Ham players to Brisbane Road.
He also refuted claims the bad relationship between the two east London teams, because of the Olympic Stadium saga, would deny him access to talented players.
“Of course it is an option for me to get some West Ham players on loan,” said Hendon.
“I know the players well and I worked with a lot of them coming through and there are some good young professionals there, but there are a lot of good young professionals at a lot of these Premier League clubs.
“I am sure West Ham are willing to let the lads out and gain experience and in my opinion, the best experience for them is playing league football and not under-21 football at the moment.
“I don’t think the relationship between Leyton Orient and West Ham could make things difficult, they are going to want what is best for their players.
“What has gone on has gone on. If they want to go down the route of being difficult because of the Olympic Stadium then we will go somewhere else.
“If they have a player I would like to take and they want to stand in his way of progressing then that is up to them.”