Carl Fletcher - "I’m really looking forward to the challenges ahead."

Following his appointment as the new Head Coach of Leyton Orient, 39-year-0ld Carl Fletcher sat down with the Club to discuss a new challenge in his career.

How do you feel after taking the job?

“Really good. I’m really excited and very honoured as well to be given the job. I’m really looking forward to the challenges ahead.’’

What was the attraction to Leyton Orient? 

‘’Lots of things really. There’re a few people I’ve spoken to who know about Leyton Orient, there seems to be a good family feel. It seems like there’s good people at the Club. Location wise – just everything about it seemed to tick a lot of boxes. Like I said I’m really lucky and honoured to be here to try and push things forward.’’

Your time at Plymouth…

‘’I just feel like I’ve matured. I’ve got better and learnt a lot. Looking back on my time at Plymouth I was too young and didn’t have enough knowledge. Obviously, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but at the time it seemed like the right thing to do.

You take all the experiences out of it and use it for your benefit going forward. Like I said my journey since then has been a good one and I’ve learnt so much in five, six years that I feel like I’m a better person, coach, manager than what I was back in the Plymouth days.’’

Progression at Bournemouth…

‘’After coming away from Plymouth I knew I wasn’t ready, I didn’t have the experience and I thought the best way to get that was to go out and coach. I was lucky enough to get the U18’s at Bournemouth and I learnt so much. You get a certain degree of allowing yourself to learn and make mistakes and then learn from them.

‘’I’ve been very lucky that I was at a Club with such good people around it, good coaching staff where I was able to learn on a daily basis. I think that’s what stood me in real good test to be able to take forward and work on my craft. The jump to the U23’s was another step in that direction. So, from my point of view it’s been great to be able to lean so much down there and use that going forward.’’

Working with Eddie Howe…

‘’It is well documented how good Ed is, but there’s other people there and I learnt from all the departments. Whether it’s the Coaches, Analysts, Sports Scientists, Physios. I was lucky in the Loans Department to see the other side of football, the business side with CEO and the Technical Director. So, I have been very lucky to be around good people and be able to take little nuggets from them, learn and grow as a person and as a Coach.’’

Despite difficult circumstances for the club this summer, are you excited?

‘’Massively, I wouldn’t have taken the job if I wasn’t! It has been very difficult circumstances. I don’t think anyone could imagine the dark times that the Club and the people of the Club have gone through. That has built a bond and a unity which is very strong.

I think it would be wrong of me to come in and try and be the same as Justin Edinburgh or copy what he did, because he did such a fantastic job here. Although I didn’t know him personally, I never heard a bad word about him and everyone spoke so highly of him. Like I said before, I’m very honoured to be able to try and continue the good work that he started, and the group of players and Staff have carried on. I will try and carry that on and keep progressing moving forward.’’

Have you seen enough of the O’s in recent weeks to come in and hit the ground running?

 ‘’I’d like to think so. With any team there’s always going to be little bits that you want to work on and improve. There’s always going to be a period of transition and assessment of the players and the way things are done as I implement things on a day-to-day basis and a week-to-week basis.

From what I’ve seen to begin with there’s some really good people here, some good players here. I’m looking forward to the challenge going forward.’’

A word on Ross Embleton, Danny Webb and Jobi McAnuff…

 ‘’You can never prepare for the circumstances that happened earlier in the season. They’ve done a great job and it just shows what good people and what good morals they have, as well as the strong bond that everyone has got to keep the Club pushing forward in the face of adversity.

We’ve met and had a good chat. The way things have panned out, Ross will take Saturday’s game away at Grimsby and I’ll be there in the stand. That’s so nothing is disrupted too much within a short space of time. We’ve had some good chats and we look forward to working together.’’

Message for the fans…

 ‘’I’m very lucky that the Orient supporters are very knowledgeable, very demanding, which I think is great because that’s the same as me. I want things done a certain way. I’m the same as any fan – You want to see exciting football, people working hard, heart on the sleeve and all that kind of stuff.

I think I’m very lucky to be at a Club where the fans are knowledgeable and know what they like. Hopefully we can deliver that. It’s a massive bonus for the Club that we have such loyal supporters who keep striving for the Club to do well’’