Harrold 'really proud' to lead Leyton Orient

Matt Harrold has been made the interim manager of Leyton Orient

Matt Harrold has been made the interim manager of Leyton Orient - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Leyton Orient interim manager Matt Harrold says it will be a 'really proud moment' when he leads the club into battle against Carlisle United on Saturday.

Harrold was put in charge of first-team affairs this week, following the departure of previous boss Kenny Jackett, with O's sitting just five points above the relegation zone in League Two.

Carlisle currently find themselves in the drop zone, but have also made a managerial change, with Paul Simpson replacing Keith Millen in their hot-seat.

And Harrold wants to ensure his side are the ones celebrating come the final whistle this weekend.

"It will be a proud moment for me and the family," he told the club website.

"It's an incredible journey I've been on here. It's something I never expected, but it will be a really proud moment and something I'm going to try and enjoy.

"Obviously if we win I will enjoy it a hell of a lot more. Really looking forward to it."

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Harrold signed for Orient back in August 2017 and helped the club win the National League title to gain promotion to League Two the following season under the late Justin Edinburgh.

Matt Harrold of Leyton Orient is congratulated after scoring against Harlow Town

Matt Harrold of Leyton Orient is congratulated after scoring against Harlow Town - Credit: David Simpson/TGS Photo

After hanging up his boots, the former striker joined the coaching staff and admitted he never expected to find himself where he is now.

He added: "It's crazy to be honest. When I joined the club four years ago on deadline day, I never expected to be a coach here, let alone one day be the interim manager. I think I've aged already!

"I was born in Leyton and while I've been here we've been through a hell of a lot. Some unbelievable highs and obviously some crushing lows.

"It's been great at times and tough at times and recently it hasn't gone great, as well as we'd like, not as we'd expected to be honest.

"I've played under lots of managers and just recently I've worked under three here in terms of Ross, Jobi (McAnuff) and Kenny.

Former Leyton Orient manager Ross Embleton (centre) speaks to first-team coach Matt Harrold (right) at Banks's Stadium

Former Leyton Orient manager Ross Embleton (centre) speaks to first-team coach Matt Harrold (right) at Banks's Stadium, Walsall - Credit: PA

"I've learnt loads from all of them, they've all been great to me in terms of the learning process.

"I've only been doing this 18 months, Kenny and Joe (Gallen) have helped me loads in that time and it's really hard for me, I do a lot of the development with the younger players, the inbetween role if you like, and they've helped me loads in that and it's really sad to see them go.

"I understand, it's football, it's ruthless and these things happen.

"So I'm really surprised to be here in this position but while I am I'm going to give it everything along with the staff and try to enjoy it."

Orient have taken just two points from a possible 30 and are now down in 18th place, having found themselves as high as seventh in early December.

But Harrold is only looking forwards, hoping the team can rediscover some energy in front of their own fans at the Breyer Group Stadium.

He said: "All I can do is look at the moment, look after the meetings, training, and just concentrate on the game. 

"As the cliche goes, one game at a time, one day at a time really. I want to get results for the club. We're in a position we didn't want to be in and didn't expect to be in.

"Ultimately all our focus is just on Saturday and getting a result in front of our home fans.

"It's my job to unify the place. Since I've been here the crowd have had a really good connection with the players and I think that's maybe just gone a touch.

"I know these lads are really good lads. It's easy to say it but they are. We work with them every day, they work so hard. I just want to see that connection.

"That's what I've tried to get through to the boys. If we do that, we've got good players, I think we can do well.

"When the places get rocking it can be unbelievable, just really looking forward to Saturday."