Ian Hendon unhappy he didn’t get more time at Leyton Orient
- Credit: Archant
Former captain at Brisbane Road admits club are in no better position now compared to when he took over this time last year
Ian Hendon was sacked as Leyton Orient manager five months ago and has been relaxing ever since, but he is still disappointed with how his time in E10 ended.
The 44-year-old represented the O’s and captained them in the early part of his playing career, before returning as head coach last summer.
Hendon signed a two-year deal with the aim to get the club promoted back to League One, but only lasted until January 18.
A 3-1 defeat to Exeter City at Brisbane Road was the final nail in his coffin with his record of 10 victories, 11 draws and 10 losses in all competitions as Orient’s boss not enough to prevent him losing his job under president Francesco Becchetti.
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“It’s been nice to relax, but it is not what I wanted. I was confident, regardless of what some people thought, that we could have got in the play-offs,” said Hendon.
“When we had all the injuries over Christmas – like Sammy Moore being out and Lloyd James as well, obviously Paul McCallum too – I felt had we replaced them with what we wanted, I’m sure we would have been all right.
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“It wasn’t to be and the so-called backing I did have in the early days, I didn’t have at Christmas and that was it. I was gone.”
Hendon’s time as O’s head coach was hit with bad injuries as McCallum suffered cruciate knee ligament damage on September 29 at Northampton Town.
A couple of weeks later and the talismanic Dean Cox suffered a similar fate to ex-West Ham United youngster McCallum.
Moore and James picked up problems in November and December which left Orient light of options, with Connor Essam also out during this period.
Hendon put together a list of targets he wanted and gave them to the club hierarchy before the January transfer window opened, but the only person he was able to bring in was Calaum Jahraldo-Martin on loan from Hull City.
Nigel Atangana, Armand Gnanduillet and Shaun Brisley were also on Hendon’s list and after Kevin Nolan was appointed as player-manager on January 21, all three players came in before the end of the transfer window.
He added: “A new manager comes in and gets five players so it wasn’t like there was no money available. It is what it is. They make the decisions, it’s life and you have to get on with it.”
Five months down the line and O’s are in the exact same position as when they first appointed Hendon in May 2015.
At the time they had no manager, a lengthy list of players set to leave the club and very few pre-season arrangements and it remains the case once again.
What leaves Hendon frustrated, however, is the fact the club told him they wanted stability when he was given the job.
He added: “It was disappointing to leave, I was told I had two years to get the club promoted and as it stood, I had from August to January, so five or six months.
“What I was told initially wasn’t what happened. If we were down at the bottom, like Stevenage at the time Teddy Sheringham lost his job, I could understand it.
“I know we had a good start and the expectation levels were what they were, but we were just outside of the play-offs when I went.
“Now they’ve had another two managers since, so the club needs to settle down. The word they initially used was stability, but they are back to square one.”
Hendon went on to reveal Andy Hessenthaler, who he brought in as assistant, is still unsure what the future holds for him, adding: “I took the job this time last year and they are in no better position.
“Andy doesn’t know who the manager will be or if it’s going to be him. You have that uncertainty again and lack of stability.”