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Leyton Orient director of football Martin Ling and Steve Davis both knew sacking was right decision

PUBLISHED: 13:00 06 June 2018

Steve Davis (left) looks on from the touchline during Leyton Orient's 6-1 defeat at Bromley (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Steve Davis (left) looks on from the touchline during Leyton Orient's 6-1 defeat at Bromley (pic: Simon O'Connor).

07958 573219 simon.oconnor@virgin.net

The O’s parted company with Steve Davis just over six months ago and look to have found the perfect replacement in Justin Edinburgh

Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh speaks with first-team captain Charlie Lee ahead of his first outing since August 19 (pic: Simon O'Connor).Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh speaks with first-team captain Charlie Lee ahead of his first outing since August 19 (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Leyton Orient director of football Martin Ling believes Steve Davis knew it was best for everyone to part ways on November 14 after only a handful of months in charge at the club.

The O’s appointed the ex-Crewe Alexandra manager as their head coach on July 10, but days after a 2-1 loss at Ebbsfleet United on November 11 he was sacked following a poor run in the National League.

Orient were 19th and without a league win in 12 games at the time and Davis paid the price and lost his job, but when Ling recently reflected on sacking the 52-year-old, he felt it didn’t come as a surprise for the one-time Nantwich Town boss.

“I don’t think there are any regrets about appointing Steve, but were there things which happened during his reign which made me think we made the wrong decision? Yes,” said O’s director of football on May 17.

“He was at a football club in Crewe which was very much about development more than winning and I saw a bit of that in how he managed at Orient. It was - develop the player first and worry about the result after.

“Unfortunately it is about the result in this league and if the player follows so be it, but that is not Steve’s fault because he worked at Crewe for a long time and that was his remit.

“The one thing I suppose I would say as a criticism of Steve was his adaptability when things went wrong and his ability to come up with a solution, but it is easy to say after so many games without a win.

“Obviously sacking someone is a day you don’t enjoy because it is someone you have brought in and got quite close to because you have tried to help them as much as possible, but in your gut you know it is the right thing.

“The good thing was he knew it was the right decision. I could tell he knew, so I don’t think we could have regrets because it did look like a good fit and the things which started to show we didn’t know when we appointed him, so that’s always difficult.”

Steve Davis looks on from the touchline at Wrexham during his time as Leyton Orient head coach (pic: Simon O'Connor).Steve Davis looks on from the touchline at Wrexham during his time as Leyton Orient head coach (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Whenever anyone spoke about Davis the first thing which came to mind was how nice he was.

He always fronted up to the media and was open to fans and happy to speak if he bumped into them during his short spell in east London, but unfortunately his style of play and philosophy didn’t suit what O’s needed and he was sacked as a result.

Orient acted fast to bring in Justin Edinburgh on November 29 and just over six months on it seems a better fit all-round.

There was a danger had O’s not halted the slide they could have followed York City and had back-to-back relegations which would have been nothing short of disastrous.

Edinburgh prevented such failure happening and after steadying the ship, attention can now turn to looking at leaving the National League in another way – promotion.

It will not be easy, especially with some big clubs coming into the division, but Orient’s current boss appears to have all the tools to get O’s into the Football League again and that should calm any anxiousness amongst fans right now over a lack of signings.


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