Hess finds himself in ‘difficult position’

PUBLISHED: 17:30 21 April 2016

Leyton Orient caretaker Andy Hessenthaler watches on (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient caretaker Andy Hessenthaler watches on (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

O’s caretaker discusses seeing Kevin Nolan and Ian Hendon lose their managerial jobs and Lee Harrison’s departure

Leyton Orient caretaker Andy Hessenthaler admits he finds himself in a strange situation, but has to remain professional until the end of the season.

The 50-year-old has been taking charge of the first team in the interim since Kevin Nolan was relieved of his managerial duties on April 12.

Goalkeeper coach Lee Harrison had his contract terminated with immediate effect the following day with Rob Gagliardi taking over.

It leaves former Gillingham boss Hessenthaler to pick up the pieces, alongside Andy Edwards, but they were disappointed on Tuesday as Plymouth Argyle made the trip to Brisbane Road and went away with all three points.

Jake Jervis scored twice after Peter Hartley’s opener and Lloyd James’ 83rd-minute penalty was a mere consolation in a 3-1 loss.

Hessenthaler admitted recent decisions by the club hierarchy have left some of the O’s players confused, saying: “I think there is a little bit of bewilderment amongst the players and you can understand that – it isn’t easy.

“We lost a good guy in terms of Kevin Nolan and we lost a good guy in terms of Ian Hendon, who brought me to the club, before that. The owner decided to make those changes and what will be beyond these next three games, I honestly don’t know.”

It has been extremely difficult for Hessenthaler at times, having to face questions about the future of the club when he isn’t the man to answer them, as well as seeing Harrison depart last week.

Hendon left as head coach in January, but despite being the caretaker right now, Hessenthaler isn’t thinking about potentially taking the job on permanently in the summer.

Hessenthaler added: “We will see what happens next season, I’m just concentrating on the next three games and we’ll see what the owner comes up with.

“It is tough, I’ve found it really difficult, I’ve got to be honest. If I didn’t say that I’d be lying. It is a strange situation, but that is the owner’s prerogative.

“He is the owner and that’s the decisions he decided to make. We are employed by him and we have to get on with our jobs.”

After Tuesday’s defeat at home to Plymouth, Orient are five points off the play-off positions with only three matches remaining.

They travel to Wimbledon this weekend with the south Londoners in seventh place. A win for the Dons would ensure O’s can no longer reach the play-offs, so it should prove to be a crucial afternoon on Saturday.

If Orient are to pick up all three points at the Cherry Red Records Stadium, they will need to defend better than they have lately.

Although Harrison was only officially goalkeeper coach at Brisbane Road, one of his other jobs was to help put on training sessions for all of the defenders during the week.

Unfortunately he has now left and his absence has shown with the mistakes made in the last two games, but Hessenthaler believes he will be back in football soon.

He added: “I played with Lee at Barnet so we are good friends and always will be. Again it was a sad and tough day to see him go.

“It was a decision made and Lee knows it is football. We will keep in contact and I spoke to him on Friday, he was right behind the boys on Saturday and hope we got the result.

“There is no bitterness from him. He’s a top coach, he has been around. He’s been at West Ham, came to Orient from them, and he’ll have no problems getting back into football.”

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Related articles

Latest East London Sports News

Yesterday, 15:32

London Lions have added immense size to their roster with young Brit, Kingsley Okoroh standing at seven foot one inch.

Yesterday, 12:33

West Ham women captain Gilly Flaherty, her teammates, head coach Matt Beard and his backroom team had the opportunity to take a first look at their new matchday home on Wednesday, where the side were shown around the 6,000-capacity stadium.

Yesterday, 12:00

West Ham United attacker Michail Antonio has won the EA Sports Premier League Player of the Month award for July.

Yesterday, 11:00

The London Lions have re-signed Great Britain point guard, Jules Dang-Akodo after one of his most promising season’s to date.

Yesterday, 09:00

With grassroots football stepping up preparations for the 2020-21 season, why not celebrate with another sporting quiz.

Wed, 16:00

Defending champions Super Rangers saw off Anirban in a crunch match in Division One of the Victoria Park Community League.

Wed, 12:00

The transfer window is already hotting up with West Ham United reportedly interested in the likes of Matty Cash, Kyle Walker-Peters and Ebere Eze.

Wed, 10:00

Striker Charlee Hughes was dropped from Leyton Orient academy, gave up, but has found his way slowly back up the ladder – most recently being signed by National League side Wealdstone.


The NHS Test and Trace system provides protection for family, friends, colleagues and the community, and is here to keep all of us safe and allow us to enjoy summer safely. We take a look at how the system is working and talk to one member of the thousands of team members about her experiences.

People are being encouraged to enjoy summer safely by exploring destinations closer to home. Taking a holiday in the United Kingdom offers people the chance to uncover some stunning scenery, wonderful attractions and superb accommodation without having to jump on a plane. Here, we take a look at the type of places you can stay, the rules you need to follow and how to enjoy a great staycation.

Summer is here and people from across the South East region can enjoy the many attractions that we have on our doorstep, as long as we follow UK Government advice and enjoy summer safely. There are plenty of places to go and things to do to suit every budget. Here is our guide to the numerous great days out.

Most read sport

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Most Read

Latest from the East London Advertiser