Updated look at the next Leyton Orient manager odds: Featuring Richie Wellens, Matt Harrold, and Neil Lennon
Leyton Orient supporters have been left frustrated at the sluggish nature of the club’s search for a new manager.
They are rightly alarmed at what is going on right now, both on and off the pitch.
Nestled in the play-off places in December, Leyton Orient are now engulfed in a relegation dogfight having failed to win a single one of their last 13 matches; nine of which have been defeats.
As a result, they sit just three places and four points above the relegation zone.
Fellow League Two clubs Bradford, Walsall, and Carlisle have all recently announced new names in their respective dugouts, yet The O’s own recruitment process appears to lack clarity, direction, and urgency.
While a club looking to appoint a new manager has every right to keep their cards close to their chest, Leyton Orient’s shocking winless run and plummet down the league ladder means they can’t afford to dawdle for any longer. They need a new plan in place pronto in order to give the team the best chance of survival.
Plenty of managers have been linked to the post since Kenny Jacket’s exit, but there’s been nothing concrete just yet.
Last week we saw three different managers emerge as the odds-on favourite in the space of 24 hours, including Neil Lennon, Jonathan Woodgate, and Richie Wellens; the latter of whom remains the frontrunner at evens with Bet Victor.
Reports of Lennon (25/1) getting the job now appear way wide of the remark, with the former Celtic boss now believed to be locked in advanced talks with Cypriot club Omonia Nicosia, while there are questions over whether Woodgate (6/1) would dip down into a League Two relegation scrap given that both of his previous jobs were in the Championship.
Of the trio, it’s Wellens who appears the most likely to become the successor to Kenny Jackett, who was sacked last month after a defeat to Bristol Rovers.
Wellens was recently linked with the Bradford job - which surprisingly went to Mark Hughes - and has been out-of-work since suffering the sack at League One Doncaster following a difficult six month spell during which he was restricted by the club’s financial struggles and multiple injuries.
The 41-year-old endured a tough time up in the third-tier but down in League Two he’s enjoyed far more success, having memorably transformed Swindon’s fortunes with a league title triumph back in 2019/20, then the following season lifted the EFL Trophy with Salford, only to leave the club a week later (March 2021).
Wellens’ Swindon side were brilliant to watch. He employed an attractive passing game and utilised the loan market to mould together a title winning team; an impressive achievement considering the club had finished the previous season in the bottom half of the table.
Next in the running is interim boss Matt Harrold who now has two points on the board from three games, although he’s still looking for his first win.
Over the weekend the club’s winless run was extended to 14 league and cup games, spanning three months, after they played out a 2-2 draw with relegation rivals Stevenage.
Theo Archibald’s 90th minute goal saw the struggling O’s grab yet another last-gasp point following the 2-2 draw with Colchester earlier in the week.
Harrold was previously an outsider for the full-time job but with the club appearing no closer to bringing in an external candidate, the interim boss has seen his odds cut to 4/1 in the betting, making him the second favourite behind Wellens.
It’s worth noting that Harrold, who has taken charge of three games so far, will ‘win’ the market if he oversees 10 games, which is looking increasingly likely right now.
There are a couple of National League managers who have received plenty of admiring glances this season, including Pete Wild (33/1) at Halifax and Luke Garrard (10/1) at Boreham Wood, but given that they are both currently fighting for a prized promotion to League Two a switch seems off the cards until the summer.
Darren Ferguson is now out at 20/1, alongside Colin Calderwood, with Steve Evans priced at 33/1.
With Leyton Orient not in action until Saturday - away to mid-table Hartlepool - fans will expect a concrete decision to be made on who will lead the team until the end of the season.