Kick-Off: Hendon pleased to be back at O’s and ready to deliver glory
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO
Orient boss reflects on his return to Brisbane Road and what he aims to do at the club
Leyton Orient head coach Ian Hendon has been tasked with a big rebuilding job this summer, but is pleased to have been given the opportunity to put together a squad that is his and finally freshen things up at Brisbane Road.
After the disappointment of losing the play-off final in 2014, the O’s were relegated from League One last season.
It has been an incredibly turbulent 12 months at E10, but under the new man in charge, optimism is building again and the work he has done ahead of the new campaign is very impressive.
Hendon has put together a squad that appears capable of challenging for promotion this year and he is actually pleased to have seen so many players from last season’s squad depart this summer – 15 to be precise.
You may also want to watch:
“There is obviously a reason why you get a job. You are either doing very well and somebody wants to head-hunt you or you go to a club that is not having a good time, or has been relegated in this case,” said Hendon.
“You have to assess the players when you come in and you think about whether the ones that are here are good enough or do they want to be here? That has been the major question this summer.
- 1 Teenager found dead in Victoria Park
- 2 Driver arrested after police 'drugs patrol' stops car in Whitechapel
- 3 Two in five people in Tower Hamlets may have had Covid-19
- 4 'I can save the planet with my seaweed' scientist in east London claims
- 5 Disgraceful management of the pandemic
- 6 Drug and alcohol abuse by Tower Hamlets parents and children soars
- 7 'Laptop bonanza' for schoolchildren in Poplar to help survive lockdown gloom
- 8 Post deliveries in east London hit by Covid crisis among Royal Mail staff
- 9 That's so raven: Everything you need to know about the guardians of the Tower
- 10 Pressure on government to provide laptops for lockdown learning
“There are players that did leave the club who I probably would’ve kept, but the timing and with what happened previously made it difficult. They had made their minds up to go elsewhere so some of the departures were forced upon me and some I was quite happy with what happened.
“We have seen the older players that got to the play-off final and then relegated leave and there seemed to me like something was hanging around when I came in, but that is no disrespect to the lads that have gone out the door.”
The Orient boss has not been too unhappy to see some players depart because it means everyone in his squad is fully behind his ideas and philosophy – something that is key to him delivering success this season.
Many perhaps expected Dean Cox to exit the club with a move away from Brisbane Road muted almost every transfer window, but he is staying and Hendon has been full of praise for the winger.
He added: “I have no problem with players leaving, in fact I am quite happy if that is what they want to do because it clears the deck and means I can start afresh because I want people buying into what I want to do.
“To be fair to ‘Coxy’ he is the only one to have turned around and said ‘all right we are in League Two, but I want to roll my sleeves up and fight to get this club back out of it’ and they are the sort of people I want around.”
That kind of attitude is what Orient will need if they are to triumph in achieving promotion from League Two this season.
Hendon believes they can do that and, after captaining the club in the past, is 100 per cent confident he is the man to lead them back to where they belong.
He added: “Everyone says they look out for a team and for me I was always looking at how Orient were getting on and how things were going at the club.
“When they made the play-off final I was willing them to go up, so I do have an affiliation with the place.
“I have come here and taken a job which I feel is right for me. I know the club, I have looked at what I am coming into with the owner and what he has said to me.
“If I didn’t think I could do something at this club I wouldn’t have taken the job, I wouldn’t just take it for the sake of having it. I have come here to try and get the club promoted.”
And after an impressive summer, you wouldn’t bet against Hendon achieving that this year.