Interim head coach Ross Embleton: I just want the best for Leyton Orient
PUBLISHED: 19:10 18 November 2017
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Embleton full of praise for Sam Sargeant and explains how he will stay in charge for as long as the club needs
Ross Embleton insists he is willing to do whatever Leyton Orient need from him after taking charge of the club for the first time today on an interim basis.
Steve Davis was sacked as O’s head coach on Tuesday after a run of 11 games without a National League win.
Embleton’s first task was to stop leaders Dover Athletic and despite Nortei Nortey opening the scoring for the visitors in the 23rd minute, Orient managed to battle back to pick up a point.
Craig Clay fired in via a deflection with 78 on the clock and it handed the hosts a well-earned draw.
But does Embleton want the job? He said: “I’ll be brutally honest it has never been something I’ve thought about.
“I know people will probably say I’m trying to disguise it, but I’d never thought about it because without blowing my own trumpet, I see myself as a good assistant.
“I see myself as a good first-team coach, so I wanted to see how I felt today. I want the best for this club. I’m not trying to avoid the question in any way, shape or form, but I want the best for this club.
“If that means me doing it for a longer period of time then I’ll happily do it to support the club and help get us back on track.
“But if tomorrow morning someone says a new manager is coming in then my job on Monday will be the exact same and that’s to try and get the best out of the players.
“We got a good point today, but it’s only a good point if we can get three on Tuesday at home to Chester, so we need to make sure we keep building. I’ve loved what I’ve done this week, but I’m certainly not putting myself in the frame for the job.”
Embleton had to deal with something of a goalkeeper crisis before the game with Charlie Grainger injuring his hip during the warm-up.
Therefore Sam Sargeant was asked to step up and make his first start of the season and didn’t let the team down.
The 20-year-old made a superb save inside a minute from James Alabi and despite a couple of nervy moments, on the whole did a very good job.
“It was a strange one because I was out the way and having a chat with a few people and then all of a sudden I had four people staring at me not wanting to be the one to tell me Charlie was injured,” said Embleton.
“He damaged his hip in the warm-up and I know he has had a little bit of an issue with it, but not anything that we ever thought would put him in doubt.
“Obviously it’s hugely disappointing for Charlie because he’s been someone I’ve backed this season and someone I have a lot of faith in.
“But before the kick-off when I got all the boys together, I did talk about Sam because since I’ve been here, he has applied himself every day.
“I have never looked at him and thought ‘Sarg is having a bad day or he doesn’t look particularly bothered’ and not that you’d accept it, but you’d probably understand it.
“He is a number two goalkeeper and he’s not been getting in the team, he’s young, he’s played before and the man in front is also young as well, so you could understand it if he got a little bit despondent.
“But Sam’s shown real professionalism and I said I had no doubt whatsoever when I looked him in the eyes that he was going to go in and be capable of performing.”
Although it was a good point in the end, Orient remain 19th and just three points above the relegation zone.
Chester visit Brisbane Road next on Tuesday and Embleton is expecting to be head coach again for that match.
He added: “The original conversation I had with Martin (Ling) was about me looking to do the next two games, so that’s been what I’ve focused on.
“I knew I would be in charge today and I am already planning for Tuesday’s game against Chester.”
Embleton joked: “Unless a decision was made during the second half of the game, I’d expect I’ll be in charge for the next one.”
After an impressive first audition, Orient can now afford to take stock a little and see how Embleton does on Tuesday.
If O’s can end their winless run, he may find himself in the hot seat for longer than he first anticipated.