Kevin Nolan has stepped down from his position as Leyton Orient’s player-manager and will stay on as a player only.
Orient released a statement saying: “Everyone at the club is fighting hard to make sure we reach the play-offs this season. Whilst that aim remains within reach, we have decided that Kevin should focus entirely on his playing contribution until the end of the season.
“We believe that Kevin will be able to make a bigger impact on the team without the distraction of managerial duties. Andy Hessenthaler, who has been assisting Kevin over the past few months, will take charge of the first team in the interim.”
The League Two side, 11th in the table but only two points off the last play-off spot, appointed Nolan on a two-and-a-half-year deal in January, replacing Ian Hendon. Nolan had been linked to a move to the vacant managerial role at Bolton Wanderers, the club he played with for 10 years and captained. However, Bolton’s new chairman, Ken Anderson, said on Tuesday that there were three candidates remaining for the position and that Nolan had not applied.
Since Francesco Becchetti purchased 90% of Orient from Barry Hearn for £4m in July 2014 he has gone through six managers at Brisbane Road. Russell Slade resigned before joining Cardiff City and was followed briefly by Kevin Nugent and the sporting director Mauro Milanese.
Orient were then relegated last season from League One under Fabio Liverani and he was followed by Hendon, who was sacked in January.
Also in January, Becchetti was given a six-match stadium ban and fined £40,000 by the Football Association after being found guilty of violent conduct.
The Italian’s punishment was over an incident that occurred immediately after Orient’s 3-2 home win against Portsmouth on Boxing Day, when television pictures showed him taking a kick at Hessenthaler on the pitch after the final whistle.
This article was written by Guardian sport, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 12th April 2016 16.21 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010