Ignore Pools' problems, warns O's coach Webb
PUBLISHED: 09:00 08 February 2019
Simon O'Connor Photography
The O's travel to Victoria Park to take on a club who have had a number of different managers this season
Leyton Orient coach Danny Webb says Hartlepool United’s recent off-the-field issues won’t make this Saturday’s clash any easier for the O’s.
The Monkey Hangers are 15th in the National League with 39 points after 31 matches – 11 off the play-off places and nine ahead of the bottom four.
Inconsistency has been a big issue for Hartlepool this season with the Pools winning two of their last five matches, but losing the other three.
What probably hasn’t helped are the constant managerial changes taking place at Victoria Park on a monthly basis with Matthew Bates, Richard Money and Craig Hignett all sitting in the hotseat since November.
Orient’s first-team development coach Webb has insisted this will not make a difference for the O’s, though, who are eager to secure another win.
He said: “You always seem to be reading about Hartlepool lately with all the things going on there, but it won’t make it any easier.
“They are an ex-league club, like ourselves, and they will be looking to get into the play-off positions, even if it will be tough.
“I think the mindset of our players is we are at the home straight now. It can bring a few nerves, but with the characters we have got I think we have enough to ride the storm.”
Last month Orient were struggling to replicate the form which had taken them to the top of the table, after also losing their way in December.
Justin Edinburgh has got O’s back on track, however, with wins at home to Maidstone United and Blyth Spartans lifting confidence and morale.
This Orient group are a determined bunch and wouldn’t have been hugely down in the dumps after a run of four defeats in nine games in both the FA Trophy and league.
Injuries played a big part, but they have also opened the door for others to step in and Dan Happe is one who has shone.
He has flourished alongside recent recruit Jamie Turley and it has made Josh Coulson and Marvin Ekpiteta’s absence a little bit easier to take.
Webb, who helped nurture the skill and talent of Happe, 20, in the Orient youth-team is delighted for the young defender from Tower Hamlets, who won the club’s Player of the Month for January.
“Dan has been patient and there are rumours about him flying around this season because he is one of our good, young players,” he said.
“He has kept his head though and wasn’t involved in a couple of squads, but never sulked and was professional.
“Now he has come in and he is looking like the real deal and we all knew he would be once he stepped in.
“We have also had ‘Turls’ step in and he has been a calming influence and Myles (Judd) and Sam (Ling) have alternated at right-back while Joe (Widdowson) has made left-back his own and he is the only one who is nailed on in terms of that position.
“If you looked at Saturday’s game, Blyth are only the league below us and they have some good players, who never stopped running and grafting, and our boys had to be on their game, but the back four along with Dean (Brill) did really well.”