Leyton Orient’s Director of Football thrilled to have Steve Davis on board

New Leyton Orient head coach Steve Davis (left) with Director of Football Martin Ling (pic: Leyton O

New Leyton Orient head coach Steve Davis (left) with Director of Football Martin Ling (pic: Leyton Orient FC). - Credit: Archant

Martin Ling discusses why he picked Steve Davis and how recruitment will work at Brisbane Road

Martin Ling has returned to Leyton Orient as Director of Football (pic: David Davies).

Martin Ling has returned to Leyton Orient as Director of Football (pic: David Davies). - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Martin Ling is delighted to bring Steve Davis to Leyton Orient and is keen to make life as easy as possible for his new head coach.

The O’s Director of Football interviewed several candidates before making a final decision on who was to replace Omer Riza.

After meeting with Davis, Ling was thrilled the former Crewe Alexandra manager agreed to move to Brisbane Road.

“I am pleased to announce that on Monday Steve agreed to join us as head coach,” said Ling when speaking alongside Davis and Ross Embleton at a press conference yesterday afternoon.


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“You all know Ross has been here for a little while as assistant first-team coach and for me, we sat to our left and had the interviews and I wanted someone that would come in and have the same philosophy about football and have the same philosophy about hard work in the lower leagues.

“We interviewed a few, but Steve came out top of the pile and I was delighted he agreed to join us.

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“Being a Director of Football, people are sometimes scared of that title, but I wanted somebody that would know I work for them and they work for me, so I work for Steve and he works for me. That is how I see a Director of Football role working.

“We work together to get the best we can out on the football pitch. The coaching side of it is over to Steve and Ross. I am not interested in being at the training ground in terms of what is happening on the grass.

“Of course I have an interest when they talk about football and I’ll give an opinion and the same as when I am trying to sign players.

Leyton Orient players are put through their paces at their Chigwell Training Ground after returning

Leyton Orient players are put through their paces at their Chigwell Training Ground after returning to pre-season last week (pic: Simon O'Connor). - Credit: Archant

“We will all have an opinion and we will come to a conclusion over whoever the player is whether he is right for us. It is about being smooth.”

Ling confirmed he was happy with the current staff he has in place and is not likely to bring in another first-team coach.

Orient are still looking for a goalkeeper coach, but with Davis and Embleton on board, the first-team coaching set-up looks settled.

Former manager Danny Webb is in charge of the under-18s with Peter Gill staying and working with the under-16s at the club.

“No I won’t look to bring another first-team coach in,” said Ling when asked about the chances of more coaches coming in.

“The staff at the training ground when I walked in three weeks ago was me and Nick (Gearing) the analysis, but out of a group of 11 we are only missing a full-time goalkeeper coach and a youth-team physio.

“Everyone else is in place now, so I have thought about staff and then players and we gave ourselves a three-week window to get a head coach in.

“We have done it in 16 days, so five days ahead of schedule, and there have been some long nights and I have not seen a lot of my wife or my children who are now adults, but they are probably pleased not to see me!”

The former O’s manager explained how he didn’t want to bring too many players into the club before appointing a head coach.

David Mooney, Joe Widdowson, Charlie Lee, Jake Caprice and Alex Lawless have all arrived at Brisbane Road, but Davis will now have a chance to bring in people he knows as well.

Ling explained how the recruitment side of things will work, adding: “I brought four players in before Steve was here as I didn’t want to fetch everyone in.

“For starters I wouldn’t have been able to do it, but whoever the head coach was going to be was going to have a certain way of playing.

“Obviously players can play most systems, but now we will put all our heads together and have a three-way attack on recruitment.

“We also have a chief scout and his name is Steve Foster. He is coming into the building and he will have information and the first thing we all did together on Monday was have a recruitment meeting.

“Somebody might chuck a name at me that I don’t know about, so for me at the moment it is all about finishing off the recruitment and I will work with Steve Davis to give him the best tools I can.

“I’ll have input and help from Steve and Ross, but while they will be at the training ground, I will be stuck in the office making calls and talking to some agents.”

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