Russell Slade was fantastic at Leyton Orient says departing midfielder Lloyd James
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO
Former Wales under-21 international hasn’t been offered a new contract with east Londoners and has looked back on his best memories with the O’s
Lloyd James has paid tribute to ex-Leyton Orient manager Russell Slade and admitted his first two years at Brisbane Road were unbelievable.
The 28-year-old will move on to pastures new when his contract with the League Two club expires at the end of June.
It will bring an end to his four-year spell in E10 after Slade brought the former Southampton midfielder to east London in the summer of 2012.
James has played under a total of seven different bosses at Orient, including Slade, and has hailed the man who signed him.
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He said: “Russell is a fantastic manager and he was very clever the way he did his man management.
“To be honest I didn’t notice how good a man manager he was until he was gone. The way he did it was superb.
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“He could see when you were down and both him and Kevin Nugent, they bounced off each other and the way they did things was fantastic.”
The midfielder is sad to see his time with Orient come to an end and looked back on his memories with the club.
James remembers the 2013/14 campaign fondly and discussed how he started off under Slade as a right-back in his first season with the O’s.
“Obviously it is sad to leave, but that’s football though and it is the way it goes,” said the ex-Colchester United man.
“The first two years at the club were fantastic. I started off at right-back and it didn’t really go to plan for me there because I’m not really a right-back, but the more games I got to play in midfield I showed how good I could be.”
During James’ first campaign with Orient, they reached the semi-finals of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and only just missed out on a trip to Wembley.
They did make it there a season later, though, but lost out in the League One play-off final on penalties to Rotherham United following a thriller.
It is two years to the day since that shoot-out defeat and things haven’t gone to plan for the east Londoners as they now find themselves in League Two.
“The 2013/14 season will live with me forever and we set a record by winning our first eight games,” said James.
“We got to the play-off final and it was a great year and the one before as well because we got to the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy semi-finals. We were that close to going to Wembley as well and the first two years were unbelievable.
“The third season I started off as good as I’ve ever played as well until I got my injury. We won at Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup and then things started to go wrong as a club.”