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Leyton Orient: Head coach Justin Edinburgh says there is ‘no ceiling’ for what O’s can achieve

PUBLISHED: 11:30 30 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:15 30 November 2017

New Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh during his time in charge of Gillingham (pic: Nigel French/PA)

New Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh during his time in charge of Gillingham (pic: Nigel French/PA)

PA Archive/PA Images

Edinburgh unveiled as new man in charge of O’s on Wednesday evening, penning a two-and-a-half year deal

New Leyton Orient head coach Justin Edinburgh says the project of taking the club back up the leagues was one of the reasons behind taking the job.

The 47-year-old was confirmed as the new man in the dugout for the National League outfit on Wednesday evening, signing a two-and-a-half year deal with O’s.

The former Tottenham Hotspur defender takes over with the club currently three points above the relegation zone having struggled since dropping down from League Two last season.

Edinburgh’s first task will be to steer the Brisbane Road club away from danger, but the former Northampton Town boss has loftier ambitions long-term with Orient, who were in League One as recently as 2015.

“One of the things which attracted me to the job was the size of the club,” he said.

“Obviously I am aware of what has happened over the past few years and it was sad to see.

“When I spoke to (director of football) Martin Ling and the owners, I was honest when I said it was the only club in this league that I would manage.

“I don’t think I’m above this level, but it was the only job where the size of the club and the project appealed to me.

“It reminds me of when I took over at Newport County. I don’t see a ceiling for how far this club can go.”

Indeed there are similarities between the position Orient find themselves in now and where Newport were when Edinburgh joined the Welsh side in October 2011.

The Exiles were bottom of the Conference Premier when Edinburgh took charge, but finished that season in 19th and were FA Trophy finalists.

The following term saw Newport return to the Football League after a 25-year absence after beating Wrexham in the play-off final, before going on to finish 14th in their first campaign back in League Two.

It is clear, then, that Edinburgh has plenty of experience in not only avoiding relegation from the fifth tier of English football, but also in winning promotion from it.

And his experience with Newport is something Edinburgh is looking to put to good use during his time with Orient.

“The position we are in at the minute is not something that is unfamiliar to me,” he added.

“Even after leaving Newport, it was similar at Gillingham; they were 18th when I joined, but we finished 12th that season and ninth the season after.

“The same goes for Northampton last season too, so I’m looking to draw on all of those experiences.

“Orient are in a better position than Newport were when I joined them, but I know that I have to address our form in order to take us up the league.”

Edinburgh inherits a backroom staff that consists of plenty of faces that only joined in the summer, including Ross Embleton and Dean Brill, who were placed in interim charge following the sacking of former head coach Steve Davis on November 14.

And the new man in charge says he is looking forward to working with the coaches currently at the club, rather than actively looking to bring in his own people.

“I’m confident about working with what’s here. I’m open minded and when I’ve gone to other clubs in the past, I’ve kept the staff that were already there,” he said.

“I think it’s only fair and you can learn different things from working with new people.”

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