Lloyd James: Leyton Orient players are in a difficult position with no manager in place at League Two club

Leyton Orient midfielder Lloyd James looks to move the ball forward with AFC Wimbledon's Andy Barcha

Leyton Orient midfielder Lloyd James looks to move the ball forward with AFC Wimbledon's Andy Barcham putting pressure on him (pic: Simon O'Connor). - Credit: Archant

Midfielder captained O’s in final two matches of the campaign, but hasn’t been offered a new contract and will leave in summer

Lloyd James has opened up about how difficult things were at Leyton Orient towards the end of the current League Two campaign.

The O’s missed out on a place in the play-offs and eventually finished the season in eighth position with Andy Hessenthaler in caretaker charge.

Kevin Nolan had his managerial duties taken away from him on April 12 following a run of three defeats in four matches.

Even with those losses, he boasted an impressive overall record with seven wins from his 15 games in charge before his demotion.


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James, who is one of eight to leave the club this summer after being told his contract wouldn’t be renewed, admits life has been tough at Brisbane Road recently.

He said: “Stability is massive and you need it in the club and the players don’t know whether they are coming or going. Even those that are still under contract, they don’t know who the manager will be and it’s hard.

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“Obviously we had an Italian in Fabio Liverani before and he didn’t really speak English so it was tough to work under. He was the same as president Francesco Becchetti because he wanted success, but it is difficult.

“The players are being put in a difficult situation at the minute. I know it is easy for me to say blame everything off the field, but I’m not there anymore so I can say it. It is tough there.

“Once you cross the white line, don’t get me wrong, you forget everything that goes on off it, but it is tough to perform week in, week out when you don’t know whether you are coming or going. The last couple of games, when we didn’t have a manager in place, our season just faded out.”

James went on to acknowledge how frustrating it is for the Orient supporters right now with so much uncertainty over the future.

He praised them for their support and conceded the club have underachieved this season in League Two with promotion the aim back at the start of the campaign.

The former Southampton youngster said it was hard not to be distracted by things taking place off the field - O’s had three managers throughout the year.

“Everybody is desperate for answers about the future, but the fans mostly because they are the ones that pay to come and watch,” said James.

“It is frustrating for them because you’re paying to come and watch a team that isn’t performing, but at the same time it kind of isn’t just the players fault because lot’s of things are going on.

“I know they don’t understand it, but at the same time it is really hard. The fans have been great though and they’ve stuck with the players.

“Yes they get frustrated, but that is the same at every football club and we have underachieved. That is no secret and me personally I was gutted we didn’t make the play-offs.

“When I looked around at the squad, I thought we had a great chance. Especially after the way we started the year, but of course it just didn’t happen for us.”

More from James on his best memories with Orient, Kevin Nolan and his injury problems will be online later this week.

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