Scott McGleish sure Justin Edinburgh will have Leyton Orient firing next season after whole pre-season together
PUBLISHED: 11:00 05 June 2018
Simon O'Connor Photography
The 44-year-old believes Orient will benefit from having a settled summer ahead of their second campaign in the National League
Scott McGleish has praised the drive of Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh and backed the team to kick on again next season.
When the 48-year-old took the O’s job on November 29, the club were 20th and only a few points above the relegation zone, but he led them to a 13th place finish following a strong second half of the campaign.
At one stage Orient had a very faint chance of making the National League play-offs, but it always seemed a long shot, though former forward McGleish is confident his old side will challenge for the top spots in the 2018/19 season.
The forward, who had four different spells at Brisbane Road, said: “Dropping into non-league after so long as a Football League club was always going to be tough.
“A lot of the squad left after relegation and they only had a lot of youngsters around and it is a tough, tough division the National League.
“People think it is ‘only non-league’ but it isn’t easy because virtually everyone is full-time and teams are full of men, not under-18s, and Orient had a lot of youngsters.
“Now they have a manager in Justin who knows the league and who has been promoted from this league and he has stabilised things since he took over.
“He helped them to finish 13th and this season they will be looking to kick on and having a full pre-season will help a lot.
“It will allow Justin to get his philosophy into the squad more and knowing Justin as I do, he will have this team firing and ready to go.”
McGleish, despite being 44, is still getting his boots on at Chesham United, who play in the Southern League Premier Division – two leagues below the National League.
He is well-versed to life outside of the Football League now with his last appearance at that level in 2012 for Barnet before spells with Whitehawk, Chesham, Enfield Town and Wealdstone and then a return to Chesham.
The forward played for the Stones in the National League South between 2014 and 2016 and so knows how tough it has been for Orient over the last year.
Despite non-league being an unforgiving place, McGleish is hopeful the O’s fans can play their part in taking the club back up.
He added: “The club is massive and whenever I played everyone always said Orient was their second club in London.
“The fans need to keep coming and keep supporting them in non-league to help them get back into the Football League again.
“Orient deserve to be in the Football League, but you don’t always get what you deserve – hopefully this club does.”