Danny Webb’s determined to prevent Leyton Orient going down to the National League
14:37 03 February 2017
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New man in the Brisbane Road hotseat discusses the departures of Andy Edwards and Richard Thomas and the promotion of Omer Riza and Michael Amoah
New Leyton Orient manager Danny Webb has insisted he’ll be doing absolutely everything he can to move the O’s away from the League Two relegation zone and is relishing the chance to turn around the fortunes of the Brisbane Road club.
The 33-year-old was handed the reins on Sunday after Andy Edwards resigned to take up a coaching role within the Football Association.
Webb has been left with the huge task of steering O’s away from trouble and will be assisted by Orient’s Professional Development Phase coach Omer Riza and Academy Sports Scientist Michael Amoah.
“Omer is going to be stepping up to assist me, simply because he is a very honest and keen coach. He’s got a lot of potential as a coach and he had a very good playing career, and all the boys like him,” said Webb, Orient’s former under-18 manager.
“I know Omer and he knows how I like to work as does Michael, who is stepping up to join the fitness staff of the first-team. He’s going to double up as a coach. He was my fitness coach when I was working with the under-14s and it is important I get people in now who know how I work.
“A lot of people would say get an experienced head in and that’s fine, but the negative of that is sometimes, if it’s your first job, it can veer you away from what you would normally do and you end up doing what somebody else would do.
“There are pros and cons to everything and we have a very young management team, but with the task at hand, we feel we have enough confidence, belief and enthusiasm to succeed. Whether it happens or not, we’ll wait and see, but I’ll be giving it my all.”
The departures of Edwards and academy manager Richard Thomas over the past seven days have seen several changes occur at Orient.
One of them has seen Webb take charge of the east Londoners first-team and he is delighted to have been given the opportunity.
He added: “Andy and Richard have made the decision to leave and go on to pastures new and I think they probably feel that is better for their own careers, so good luck to them and they are good people.
“When I decided to get into coaching four or five years ago, Andy was one of the few people who got back to me. He gave me the under-14s age group, so I’ll never forgot the opportunity that he gave me and we’ve become good mates.
“It is always disappointing to see people you are close to leave, but at the same time they see it as a positive move for them and it gives me a chance now.”
With former Arsenal striker Riza assisting the first-team, the likes of Peter Gill and Frederico Morais are likely to take over the under-18s for the rest of the campaign.
Webb spoke with all of the academy players this week to address the situation and revealed his pride at seeing several of them involved in the senior squad.
The likes of Myles Judd and Josh Koroma were part of the under-14s team which Webb coached when he first moved to Orient back in 2011.
Now they are all tasked with helping the O’s stay in the Football League this season with 19 League Two matches remaining.
Webb said: “Discussions are happening regarding what goes on with the youth team involving people above, so whatever happens there, happens, but I’ve had a chat with the young lads.
“I would have liked to have spoken to them sooner because a lot of those guys on the pitch at the moment are players I had at under-14 level.
“People like Myles and Josh I’ve had all the way up through the age groups, so I feel really close to them and it is proud for me to see how those boys are in and around the first team, let alone a couple of them starting.
“With them playing alongside the right mix of players, so the experienced lads, we can see them kick on again hopefully.”
The former Southend United forward went on to insist he’ll be doing things his own way and differently to previous managers at Brisbane Road.
Webb is keen to see all the pressure come his way too and allow the inexperienced squad to focus purely on playing and nothing else.
“I’m going into it with my own way of doing stuff, just like Andy would, just like Alberto (Cavasin) and Andy Hessenthaler and Kevin Nolan before,” said Webb.
“Everybody that has come in here has done things a specific way and they have all been different from the next one. I will have my own way of talking to the players and my own way of thinking, which will hopefully get the maximum out of this group.
“I want the squad to have the least amount of pressure on their shoulders, so let me handle the pressure and they can concentrate on playing football.”