Some 10 years on, O’s fans grateful to former manager Slade for successful reign
PUBLISHED: 14:00 01 April 2020
Simon O'Connor 2 Burnham Road Chingford London E4 8PE
Nearly 10 years ago, Leyton Orient moved to sack Geraint Williams and appoint Russell Slade to help them avoid the drop and was it ever a great journey from then onwards.
Slade was appointed manager of Leyton Orient on April 5, 2010 with just six matches left in the season and the Brisbane Road club in danger of being relegated from League One.
And the new boss revived the club’s fortunes, helping Leyton Orient to take 10 points from their last six matches, resulting in them avoiding relegation by a single point.
Slade’s first match in charge of the O’s didn’t go to plan as it was a 2-0 defeat to now Premier League outfit Southampton, thanks to goals from Rickie Lambert and Lee Barnard in a team that included the likes of Adam Lallana and Jose Fonte.
But he was eventually handed a new two-year contract for saving the club and then started a successful period in charge, with Slade the longest-serving boss at the club since current director of football Martin Ling’s spell.
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“Having achieved that short-term aim of staying in League One, we can now move on to longer-term objectives and there are lots of things involved in that,” Slade told the club’s website.
“I believe anything is achievable. You just have to look at the likes of what I did at Yeovil and what Blackpool have done this season to see that.”
The following season saw Slade guide Orient to seventh place, just one point outside the play-off places, as well as a fifth round replay at Arsenal in the FA Cup.
During the same season, Orient chairman Barry Hearn rejected an approach from Barnsley for Slade’s services.
Leyton Orient were unable to match their previous year during the 2011/12 season and finished in 20th, but the next season saw Slade able to guide them to another seventh-place finish.
In June 2013, Orient announced that Slade, his assistant Kevin Nugent and chief scout Kevin Dearden had signed contract extensions to keep them at the club for a further three years, until the end of the 2015/16 season.
Slade guided Orient to third place in the 2013/14 season, seeing them finish in the play-off spots, and after beating Peterborough United 3-2 in the semi finals they headed to Wembley only to lose the final against Rotherham United on penalties.
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