John Mackie delighted Matt Porter and Martin Ling are back at Leyton Orient

Martin Ling, Errol McKellar and John Mackie after the charity match for Prostate Cancer UK at Brisba

Martin Ling, Errol McKellar and John Mackie after the charity match for Prostate Cancer UK at Brisbane Road (pic: Leyton Orient Football Club). - Credit: Archant

The Greenwich Borough assistant will get a chance to pit his wits against O’s when they visit DGS Stadium on Saturday for a pre-season friendly

Leyton Orient's John Mackie consoles Oxford's Steve Basham after O's win promotion to League One in

Leyton Orient's John Mackie consoles Oxford's Steve Basham after O's win promotion to League One in May 2006 (pic: Chris Young/PA Images). - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

John Mackie is thrilled to see some familiar faces back at Leyton Orient and hopeful good times can return to the club.

The former O’s captain praised the decision by Nigel Travis to appoint Matt Porter to the board of directors at Brisbane Road.

Porter was Orient’s chief executive for eight years before becoming a director when Francesco Becchetti bought the club in the summer of 2014.

The Professional Darts Corporation CEO was asked to leave Orient just three months after the Italian purchased O’s, however, but one of Travis’ first moves was to bring Porter back in addition to making ex-boss Martin Ling the club’s Director of Football.

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Mackie said: “When Becchetti got rid of Porter I did say it would be his biggest mistake and I stand by that.

“Managers come and go, but Matt was not only a supporter, he knew his job inside out and had just been appointed to the Football League board which showed you how good he is.

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“To get rid of him was a mistake and he would have stopped them spending so much money and stopped them bringing in managers from abroad, so it is great to get Matt back.

“And brilliant Martin is involved at the club again too, so they are two very good signings made by Orient already.”

Ling was Mackie’s manager when O’s won promotion to League One in dramatic circumstances in May 2006.

The current Greenwich Borough assistant feels the Director of Football role will suit his 51-year-old former boss.

“I think this is the right job for Martin. Like me he has an affiliation with the club and obviously he was successful as a manager there,” said Mackie.

“He will be good at sorting contracts and getting a philosophy running through Orient from the youth right through to the first-team.

“Martin doing that side of things will allow the coaches there to purely concentrate on management, so it should be a good move by the club.”

After Travis and Kent Teague purchased Orient on June 22, it has been hard to wipe the smile off the faces of supporters.

But Mackie was quick to warn O’s they will not have everything their own way in the National League.

The ex-Sutton United defender does believe everyone involved at the club is aware of that, however, and the size of the challenge ahead.

Mackie hopes the young players still at Orient can show their class and learn from last season’s tough introduction to men’s football.

He added: “I think the club knows it is going to be tough in the National League, but there is optimism around the place and rightly so.

“Everyone is positive and I think everyone just feels a big sigh of relief, so everyone is feeling upbeat, but it is important we all don’t get carried away.

“Every club that goes down thinks they are going to come straight back up, but look at the likes of Tranmere and Wrexham.

“They are still in there, so it is a hard league to get out of and I think everyone at the club knows that.

“You need tough players both physically and mentally, so it might not be a bad thing that so many left.

“They have got eight in so far and it is probably a positive they have been able to start from scratch with just the youngsters there.

“Hopefully the experience of last season has helped them and they can go on to have good futures and stay with Orient for a long time.”

The O’s visit DGS Stadium this weekend to face Gary Alexander’s Greenwich Borough (3pm kick-off).

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