Leyton Orient boss McAnuff set to make Clay captain for Grimsby clash

Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Leyton Orient midfielder Craig Clay holds off Salford City's Jason Lowe - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Leyton Orient interim manager Jobi McAnuff has revealed midfielder Craig Clay will be taking on his previous captaincy role for the time being but he wants to form a leadership group to ease the pressure. 

The 39-year-old was the captain of the O’s but is now stepping up to take on the role of manager since Ross Embleton departed. 

They head away to Grimsby Town this evening (Tuesday) for his first match in charge where Clay will take on the armband. 

“Not really, I think it’s a big decision. I think first and foremost on the football pitch what I want is five, six or even seven leaders. I don’t think it should ever just be down to one particular person to get the lads going and help us recover from a one goal deficit,” McAnuff admitted. 

“I do believe the best teams have got multiple leaders in there, regardless of who has got the armband on, I personally have been lucky enough to wear the armband. 


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“In the teams I've been successful in you could have looked on that pitch and said if no one had the armband on that numerous players could have been a captain and that takes the honest of the actual captain because there are days where you’re trying to get through a game whether that is injury or fatigue. 

“You might not be at that level you need to be at and you need that bit of help sometimes. The more we can have the better. 

Josh Coulson, Leyton Orient doesn’t quite get enough of the ball as the visitors attack during Col

Josh Coulson, Leyton Orient doesn’t quite get enough of the ball as the visitors attack during Colchester United vs Leyton Orient, Sky Bet EFL League 2 Football at the JobServe Community Stadium on 14th November 2020 - Credit: Ray Lawrence/TGS Photo

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“At the moment Couls (Josh Coulson) is injured, Craig Clay is going to be captain for the Grimsby Town game. I’ve spoken to Craig a lot about this and he is one I see taking that position on certainly in terms of his own game. 

“He is consistent now, he has found a consistency in his game, and I think that’s very important for a captain that you’re going out there and you’re comfortable with your own performances. 

“Then it’s about what can I do to make him better, whether that is information, driving people on and knowing the right time to give them a gee up. 

“I think he is ready to do that now. What I found when I got that role in my late 20s that it actually took my game to another level as I felt that responsibility and I wanted to help the other lads out.” 

He expects the likes of Josh Coulson, Adam Thompson, Ouss Cisse and Joe Widdowson to also step up in terms of leading the team. 

Adam Thompson of Leyton Orient during Leyton Orient vs Tranmere Rovers, Sky Bet EFL League 2 Footbal

Adam Thompson of Leyton Orient during Leyton Orient vs Tranmere Rovers, Sky Bet EFL League 2 Football at The Breyer Group Stadium on 27th February 2021 - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

“He’ll be doing it for now. Thommo has come in and been fantastic. Joe Widdowson is a quiet leader, but he leads by example with his performances. 

“I want that throughout the team, Cisse is another one who gets on his work, he is vocal, he does talk and he does organise. 

“He’ll be a big part of that as well. I want to create a group where it is not necessarily on one person’s shoulder. I think if I can do that then we’ll be a better team for that.” 

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