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Promotion in two years is a miracle says Ling, who hails enthusiastic Nigel and Kent

PUBLISHED: 13:00 30 April 2019 | UPDATED: 13:35 30 April 2019

Jobi McAnuff lifts the National League trophy with his Leyton Orient team-mates and staff at the club (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Jobi McAnuff lifts the National League trophy with his Leyton Orient team-mates and staff at the club (pic: Simon O'Connor).

Simon O'Connor Photography

While Martin Ling has faced some criticism at O’s, how many people have won promotion as a player, manager and director of football?

Martin Ling believes Leyton Orient have achieved a miracle to secure promotion back to League Two inside two years.

When the director of football was appointed on June 23 2017, the O's barely had a squad of players and the ones they had were all lacking the required experience.

The initial road to recovery was slippery, with Steve Davis sacked as head coach in November of that year, but boss Justin Edinburgh has turned the club around.

In his first full campaign in charge he has led Orient to the National League title and after two years in non-league football, the O's are back in League Two again.

Given how long Wrexham have been out of the Football League and how many years Luton Town, Cambridge United and Lincoln City needed to return to League Two, this is a great achievement.

Ling said: “This is the second time I have been in the division, the first was when I was manager at Cambridge and what I have always found with this league is the mentality is very hard.

“You need a strong mentality to go somewhere in front of a thousand people on a bad pitch and sometimes with the away fans outnumbering the home support.

“For me it is the most difficult league to get out of because only one goes up automatically and then you have six in the play-offs.

“To get out of this division in two years is immense, but to do it in two years from where we've come from is a miracle.”

A long road to redemption took its first step on June 22 2017 when Nigel Travis and Kent Teague's takeover of Orient was complete.

It ended the disastrous spell of the previous ownership and their first move was to appoint Ling as director of football.

While the former O's midfielder and boss has faced criticism, how many people have won promotion as a player, manager and director of football in the last 25 years?

Some of his signings were questioned, but the 52-year-old has firmly silenced his critics and deserves enormous praise alongside Travis and Teague.

“The owners probably look even better than what they actually are because of how bad the previous one was,” Ling admitted.

“But they are fresh. They have come in and Nigel is a Leyton Orient fan nut and Kent is just a nut, but he is just so enthusiastic and yet with a plan.

“I've never had so many board calls and phone calls to America, but they do leave me to get on with things. Obviously I have to run certain things by them, but they trust me and trust Danny Macklin on the business side of things and they are a pleasure to work for.”


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