Stability is the key if Leyton Orient want success

Leyton Orient players and staff get together on the pitch after the final whistle at Yeovil Town (pi

Leyton Orient players and staff get together on the pitch after the final whistle at Yeovil Town (pic: Simon O'Connor). - Credit: Archant

O’s correspondent looks back on what has occurred at Brisbane Road over the past month and what needs to happen next

It has been another incredible season at Brisbane Road and unfortunately not always for all the right reasons.

Leyton Orient finished their League Two campaign with a 1-0 victory at Yeovil Town on Saturday after Ollie Palmer scored in the 87th minute.

The O’s win moved them up to eighth as a result, but they were still six points off AFC Wimbledon in the final play-off position.

What happens next is anybody’s guess, but current caretaker Andy Hessenthaler believes stability is key for the club next season.

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It seems the 50-year-old could depart after witnessing a lot this year that he hasn’t previously seen despite a long career in the game.

Hessenthaler signed a contract last summer as assistant until the end of the 2016/17 season, but admitted last weekend he is unsure if he’d want the permanent managers role.

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After the victory at Yeovil, he did insist that if Ian Hendon or Kevin Nolan had both been given time, they would have got Orient into the play-offs.

Unfortunately the answer to that question is again something that nobody will be able to prove. But what is clear is that O’s next manager must know English football and be given time to do the job, be allowed to make mistakes and learn from them.

Nolan wasn’t allowed to develop as a manager because as soon as he had one bad run of form, he was demoted to just a player.

One point from four games is not a good record, but if you appoint an inexperienced manager you have to take highs with the lows and some highs were very good!

The O’s beat Portsmouth and Oxford United away under Nolan and the former was probably the best performance of the season.

It was a glimpse into the future, but the Easter period into the start of April saw a complete drop in results and team displays and the former West Ham United captain wasn’t given a chance to stop the slump.

Hessenthaler confirmed that president Francesco Becchetti was involved in team selection for the games against Dagenham & Redbridge, Plymouth Argyle and Wimbledon, after Nolan’s managerial duties were taken away.

And by all accounts he was also trying to get involved before the decision to demote the 33-year-old was made after the 3-0 defeat at Barnet on April 9 when O’s were two points shy of a play-off position.

That is all in the past now, but in the future the next manager has to be allowed to take control of the first team and do his job.

More interference would likely mean this time next year the same feelings will be present – a huge sense of disappointment about the campaign and confusion about the future direction of the club.

Orient are onto their seventh manager under Becchetti since he took charge of the club in July 2014 and it will be number eight before the start of next season – the constant change must stop.

A small positive to come from the end of the season is the performances of the youngsters. Sam Sargeant, who made his debut at Yeovil, signed a two-year professional deal with the club on Friday alongside Aron Pollock. The duo have demonstrated their ability.

Sandro Semedo and Josh Koroma have shone too. Freddy Moncur penned a one-year professional deal last week as well while Michael Clark, Sam Alderson and Victor Adeboyejo have been offered third-year scholarship contracts.

It is a rare bright spark, but if Orient want success they need stability on and off the pitch.

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