Leyton Orient

Leyton Orient: a club on the rise again

With 15 games of League Two left to go, Leyton Orient have an opportunity to gain promotion to the third tier of English football for the first time in eight years.

League-topping Orient stand four points clear of second placed Stevenage having played two games more, and ten points ahead of fourth-place Northampton, who sit directly outside the automatic promotion spots.

The club has enjoyed a period of stability on and off the pitch, after the disastrous ownership of Francesco Becchetti, which culminated in relegation to the National League in 2017.

Tom Davies, member of the Orients Fans Trust, and a fan since the mid 1980s, welcomed the security after reaching the depths of despair under Becchetti.

He said: “The club was ran into the ground and during the traumatic relegation season of 2017, its very existence was in doubt, which in turn galvanised the fanbase.”

Davies credited the new owners, including life-long Orient fan Mark Travis, in creating a basic infrastructure and responsive regime.

Manager Richie Wellens has been a major reason for the upturn in fortunes since his appointment in March last year and Davies spoke very highly of the work that he has done.

Davies was excited about Wellens’ appointment after he saw his Swindon side defeated Orient on the final day of the 20/21 season.

Davies said: “His press conferences are very clear, he tends to admit his faults and brings a great deal of tactical clarity and honesty.

“It was clear that his Swindon team had a clearly defined style of play and their passing was just a cut above, therefore I was very encouraged by his appointment.”

Despite their blistering form for the majority of the season, Orient have won just two of their last seven games and Davies isn’t counting the club’s chickens yet.

He said: “I’ve been a little bit anxious since Christmas, there’s been some nice passing football but we could be doing with a few more ugly goals.

“Your instinctive pessimism and fatalism grows and the nerves creep in, but at this stage you have to grind them out against teams that are somewhat defensive and hard to break down.

“But the gates are the highest they’ve been in years, the club is on the up and we now stand as one of the better-resourced, better supported clubs in League Two.

“The ownership are supportive of the Fair Play initiative and a regulator for football, which means a lot to the supporters.

“It’s a good time to be an Orient fan.”

Featured image credit: Spudgun67 via Wikimedia Commons under the license CC BY-SA 4.0

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