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Slade brushes off West Brom link

Orient boss Russell Slade (pic: Simon O'Connor) Orient boss Russell Slade (pic: Simon O'Connor)

Robin Cottle
Thursday, May 22, 2014
11:30 AM

Orient boss ‘focused’ on Wembley

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Russell Slade brushed off speculation about his own future as he prepares for one of the biggest games in Leyton Orient’s history.

The 53-year-old has been linked to the vacant managerial position at Premier League club West Brom but insists he has “complete focus” on the play-off final.

The O’s boss said: “It’s nice to be recognised for the work we’ve done on no money and it’s great to be linked to a Premier League club when you’re a League One manager.

“But I’ve got total focus and a two-year deal here. Obviously I want to manage at the highest level, but in the short-term I want to be a manager in the Championship with Leyton Orient.

“It would be fantastic to achieve that here because I think the values here have been different to a lot of football clubs.

“When I asked what defines us as a group the players could have chose pace, technical ability or the ability to get goals. But they chose work ethic, character, desire and togetherness. To get success on the back of those values is quite special.”

Slade was quick to praise his superiors for the success Orient have had since he took over at Brisbane Road just over four years ago because they “allow him to manage.”

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, Exeter City’s Paul Tisdale and Cheltenham manager Mark Yates are the only managers in the Football League who have been at their clubs longer than Slade.

He said: “The great thing about this club is I’m able to manage it within the financial constraints. It’s not all about pounds and pence.

“I think I’ve had one board meeting in four and a bit years and I’ve got a great relationships with Barry Hearn (chairman) and Matt Porter (chief executive). There’s a lot to say for that and a lot to be thankful for.

“I’ve been trying to move the club forward and I think I’ve done that, but it will be only be a truly successful season if we get promoted on Sunday.”

The manager was also quick to recognise the qualities of other bosses in League One.

The West Brom vacancy has been created by the sacking of Spaniard Pepe Mel, who lasted four months and won only three of his 17 Premier League games in charge.

Slade thinks British managers in the lower leagues maybe don’t get the credit they deserve.

He added: “When I accepted the League Managers Association award with (Wolves boss) Kenny Jackett I stood up and talked about how managers have done brilliant jobs in League One. People like Shaun Derry at Notts County, Steven Pressley at Coventry and Nigel Clough at Sheffield United.

“There are some really talented managers outside the Premier League who don’t get recognised for the incredible jobs they’ve done.”

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