Martin Ling: New Leyton Orient boss must have good man management skills

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

Orient’s Director of Football discusses young squad at Brisbane Road and what he is looking for in a manager

Martin Ling believes the next manager of Leyton Orient must have good man management skills and wants somebody to get the best out of the talented youngsters at Brisbane Road.

The 50-year-old spent six years as O’s boss between 2003 and 2009 and achieved success, leading the club to promotion in 2006.

Ling is now hoping the next boss in E10 can follow in his footsteps and eventually guide the team back to the Football League.

He said: “I want somebody who is a good coach and a good manager of people and that is the main thing for me.


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“They need to know the game and I think so much is won through man management, so that is a big component. It was always a big component of my management and honestly and integrity is important as well.

“I look back and if you can name on one hand players that didn’t like playing for me I would be surprised because I just did it in a manner where I let men be men, but made sure I was in control.

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“They know who the boss is, but they want to play for you and go that extra mile, so I want someone who can get that out of our players. Man management is an underrated asset, but is probably the most important asset within a football club.”

Orient’s squad right now is made up of academy graduates who are extremely talented, but endured a tough introduction to professional football.

Although a lot of O’s teens shone at times during the 2016/17 campaign, they were left with too much to do.

Ling is keen to put more experienced players around them, but is expecting some of the young lads to stay in the first-team.

He added: “It is a very young squad and some of them have possibly been exposed a bit too much than they should have last season, but when you are put in that position you either sink or swim and I know a lot of them swam, so that’s good.

“They should not have been left to do what they had to do without any experience around them and that is the big thing for me.

“I need to fetch a nucleus of experienced players to help the young lads and the football club and then the young lads will flourish naturally and have some help and guidance along the way from the senior players we will be getting in the building.”

Orient’s new Director of Football is aware he must bring in players who are willing to help the youngsters at the club develop.

With the new National League season starting on August 5, O’s are expected to be busy over the coming weeks.

Ling said: “We have no footballers in the building over 21 at the moment and you are not going to win anything with that, so we understand we need to fetch some experience.

“I need to get the right characters and the young players need to not be as exposed as they were last year, but there will be some young players playing. They must be helped on the football pitch and the way you do that is by getting in experience and leadership.”

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