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The Non-League Football Paper

Leyton Orient sack Steve Davis after defeat to Ebbsfleet

By Jon Couch

LEYTON ORIENT are bracing themselves for making, arguably, the most important management appointment in their history after sacking head coach Steve Davis this morning (Tuesday).

The former Crewe Alexandra chief, 52, took charge at the Brisbane Road club in July following their relegation from League Two at the end of last season.

But the O’s have only won five of their 19 league matches so far this season and lie 19th in the table, three points off the relegation places.

Director of Football and former boss Martin Ling has emerged as an early favourite to take over, joining former Stevenage and Preston boss Graham Westley in the frame and even ex-Tottenham and West Ham chief Harry Redknapp, who grew up a stone’s throw away from the club’s east London base.

Chairman Nigel Travis decided to act after angry supporters clashed with players following Saturday’s 2-1 defeat at Ebbsfleet United – a result which stretched their winless run to 11 matches.

“There is no doubt results haven’t been up to the required levels over the last two months,” said Travis, the Dunkin Donuts chief executive who completed a takeover of the the club from controversial Italian Francesco Becchetti in June.

“We showed a lot of promise in the early part of the season and unfortunately that hasn’t been sustained, so we felt it was time to make a change in order to give us the best chance of turning our fortunes around for the second half of the season.

“Steve came in at a difficult time with a shortened pre-season and a complete squad and staff rebuilding process under way. He worked tirelessly and professionally and we know from the players how much they enjoyed his training ground work.

“However, ultimately football is a results-based business and whilst we knew this was going to be a challenging season, we did not expect to be so close to the bottom four at this stage.”

Ross Embleton and Dean Brill will take charge on an interim basis while a successor is sought with the O’s preparing for the visit of leaders Dover Athletic on Saturday.

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