Ling sets sights on Vale job

FORMER Orient manager Martin Ling is one of the front-runners for the managerial job at Port Vale, writes TREVOR DAVIES. Ling, who has been working for Scottish Premier League side Hibernian since leaving the O s, firmly believes he has what it takes to g

FORMER Orient manager Martin Ling is one of the front-runners for the managerial job at Port Vale, writes TREVOR DAVIES.

Ling, who has been working for Scottish Premier League side Hibernian since leaving the O's, firmly believes he has what it takes to guide the Valiants out of League Two.

The 42-year-old said: "People in the game know I did a good job at Orient. When I took over, they were at a low ebb and second from bottom of League Two. But we stayed up and we then got them promoted to League One."

Ling, who was in Scotland on Tuesday for a meeting at Hibs, has been setting up a scouting network in England for them and identifying players that could make their mark at Easter Road.


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"It's something that I have really enjoyed and it has been good but, ideally, I would like to get back into management," he told the Recorder.

Port Vale are currently compiling a short-list for the vacant position, and Ling is likely to know within the next 24 hours as to whether he is in the running.

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"I believe the board are drawing up a short-list and it would be an excellent opportunity for me," added Ling. "I see Port Vale being in a similar position to Orient when I took over and, from what I know about them, the club is below the level it should be.

"I see them very much as a League One or a Championship club."

Ling could face tough competition for the post, as the bookies had former Cheltenham and Carlisle boss John Ward as the early favourite, while former Brighton manager Micky Adams is also believed to be in the frame.

Since leaving Orient, Ling admitted that permanent job opportunities have been few and far between.

"The only thing that has really come up was at Brighton and I feel that the time is right to get back in," he said.

And he believes that he could take Port Vale further than the O's.

"I knew I couldn't push Orient into the Championship, because the fans weren't coming through the gates and the financial backing wasn't there because of it.

"But Port Vale have a bigger nucleus of support and that can lead to success.

"I want to go to a club that has a progressive future and Vale would seem to have that," he added.

By coincidence, Ling's right-hand man at the O's was Dean Smith, who had a spell at Port Vale as a player four seasons ago, before returning to Brisbane Road.

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